We’re still sorting through the results from two nights ago — heck, there will probably be at least two recounts conducted today — but some storylines are already developing. Thanks to Kartik Krishnaiyer of the Political Hurricane, here are some initial thoughts about where sh*t stands now in some of the Florida House races.
Halsey Beshears always seemed like the GOP favorite, but Robert Hill is a strong Democrat and this seat is still very much up for grabs. Obama will run poorly here, but Al Lawson will have these counties well organized for his challenge to Steve Southerland, and while Beshears says the right things about prison privatization and other government job cuts he can be tied to Governor Rick Scott. This is one to watch election night.
“Doc” Renuart’s win in this Jacksonville area district which was almost entirely new to him is either owed to the split opposition or a remarkably agile vote getter. In any event, Renurat, who tends to be more thoughtful than most other House Republicans, returns for another team.
Kartik Krishnaiyer of the Political Hurricane firmly believes, despite the reservations of the FDP hierarchy, that Andrew Morey can beat Keith Perry in this district which is trending towards the Democrats. He’ll just need a little help from the party, which strongly backed the defeated Andrew Bosshardt in the primary.
Mike Fasano is incredibly popular in Pasco County regardless of how much some business and insurance interests don’t like him. This will never change.
Based on partisan performance locally, Joe Saunders should have the edge over Marco Peña but the reality of this race is more complicated. The Republicans have nominated a Hispanic and had more voters turnout in their primary.
Republican Ross Spano’s close shave win over Joe Wicker sets him as the favorite against Democrat Gail Gottlieb in the Fall. This was one of the most exciting primaries in the state.
Mark Danish will face Shawn Harrison in what could be one of the best opportunities for a Democratic pick up in November.
Chronic office shopper Kevin Rader’s presumptive return to the House ( a nuisance Republican has filed in this overwhelmingly Democratic district) hasbeen met with great consternation among politicos. But somehow Rader who has sought five different legislative seats in the past three election cycles (a modern Florida record we presume) unseated Steve Perman, a decent guy who didn’t deserve the type of angry, negative and spiteful campaign Rader ran. Still from a progressive perspective, Rader is likely to be better on the issues, so perhaps this one is actually a blessing no matter how distasteful the campaign was.
A tough one for former Rep. Carl Domino but his mix of economic extreme conservatism and social libertarian/liberal views did not suit this district which unlike his old seat is not entirely silk stocking elite. Mary Lynn Magar has the potential to be a star in the Republican Party.
I had feared former Rep. Adam Fetterman had bitten off more than he could chew with this one and sadly was right. Fetterman would have been a stronger progressive voice than Larry Lee, but Lee’s local contacts, fundraising prowess and strong campaign was too much here. In retrospect, Fetterman should have challenged Gayle Harrell where he would have a had a chance since Obama and Nelson are likely to carry that district in the Fall. Lee now faces a strong Republican in Michelle Miller. The seat leans Democratic but has an opportunity to elect Miller.
We’ve made no secret of our dislike for Katie Edwards politics but her smashing victory positions her nicely to be a strong voice in the Democratic Caucus. Unfortunately given her record and statements it may be for the wrong causes.
A clear progressive vs. conservative primary which also is being fought on ethnic lines is still undecided. Barbara Watson has a slight lead as of this writing.
Jose Javier Rodriguez gets Alex DLP in a race that the Democrats have a chance in. This one bears some watching in the fall.
Incumbent Erik Fresen has spent $23.85 per vote in this cycle so far (spent $149,461 for 6,267 primary votes). In November, Fresen faces a tough Democratic challenger in Ross Hancock.