Sunset! A special ‘end of Qualifying Week’ edition of Sunburn

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A special edition of SUNBURN offering the latest news now that Qualifying Week has officially ended.

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The GOP has a qualified candidate in every single legislative district where John McCain received over 45% of the two-party vote. (H/t to Kartik Krishnaiyer of the Political Hurricane, who has an excellent summary here.)

TWEET OF THE DAY: @DJGroup Looking over preliminary aftermath, #RPOF kicked #FDP ass in recruiting, again. #SameTweetSince1992

HOG HUNTING BRINGS GOOD LUCK: Congressman Dennis Ross is only member of Florida delegation re-elected without opposition.

UNOFFICIAL TALLY: 295 candidates filed for 120 State House seats, down from 2002 post-redistricting total of 342; 96 candidates filed for 40 State Senate seats, up from 2002 post-redistricting total of 88.

STATE SENATE BRIEFING: Expect 9 Senate races without opposition, three with minor opposition, 11 primary races and 31 general election match-ups, says the Florida Chamber’s Marian Johnson.

STATE HOUSE BRIEFING: Johnson also says to expect 33 races without opposition, 59 primary races and 74 general election match-ups.

MY TWEET: @SaintPetersBlog: Marian Johnson would be my first pick in political consultant fantasy football draft.

HERE’S WHO WON RE-ELECTION WITHOUT OPPOSITION (Unofficial): State Senate District 5 – Charlie Dean – Republican, State Senate District 28 – Nancy Detert – Republican, State Senate District 36 – Oscar Braynon – Democrat, State Senate District 37 – Anitere Flores – Republican, State Senate District 38 – Rene Garcia – Republican, State Senate District 40 – Miguel Diaz de la Portilla – Republican

State House District 1 – Clay Ingram – Republican, State House District 4 – Matt Gaetz – Republican, State House District 6 – Jimmy Patronis – Republican, State House District 8 – Alan Williams – Democrat, State House District 10 – Elizabeth Porter – Republican, State House District 13 – Reggie Fullwood – Democrat, State House District 15 – Dan Davis – Republican, State House District 18 – Travis Cummings – Republican, State House District 22 – Charles Stone – Republican, State House District 23 – Dennis Baxley – Republican, State House District 26 – Dwayne Taylor – Democrat, State House District 31 – Bryan Nelson – Republican, State House District 32 – Larry Metz – Republican, State House District 33 – Marlene O’Toole – Republican, State House District 38 – Will Weatherford – Republican, State House District 48 – Victor Torres – Republican, State House District 52 – Ritch Workman – Republican, State House District 54 – Debbie Mayfield – Republican, State House District 56 – Ben Albritton – Republican, State House District 60 – Dana Young – Republican, State House District 61 – Betty Reed – Democrat, State House District 64 – James Grant – Republican, State House District 70 – Darryl Rouson – Democrat, State House District 75 – Ken Robertson – Republican, State House District 80 – Matt Hutson – Republican, State House District 91 – Irv Slosberg – Democrat, State House District 92 – Gwen Reed – Democrat, State House District 95 – Hazelle Rogers – Democrat, State House District 96 – Jim Waldman – Democrat, State House District 101 – Shevrin Jones – Democrat.

GRATITUDE: @JimmyPatronis: Thank you to the folks of District 6 for allowing me to serve them for 2 more years without opposition.

How end of Qualifying Week is playing: “Central Florida is ‘Ground Zero’ for legislative races”by Aaron DeSlatte of the Orlando Sentinel. … “Only a handful of incumbents qualified without across-the-aisle competition.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’re competing everywhere,” said incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale. “For too long the Democratic Party has not competed as vigorously as we should have.”


Congressional District 3 – State Sen. Steve Oelrich notified the Division of Elections that he intended to qualify for a run in the new 3rd Congressional District by turning in the required 2,300 or so signatures, but went ahead and paid the fee to qualify.

State Senate District 4 – “Big name Democrat Nancy Soderberg qualifies,” reports Aaron Bean of the Florida Times-Union. “Soderberg’s resume … is littered with some of the biggest names in Democratic politics. … She served in Bill Clinton’s White House as the third-ranked official on the National Security Council, was a foreign policy advisor to the late Ted Kennedy, and was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair an advisory committee established by Congress to promote public access to U.S. national security decisions.”

State Senate District 8 – Republican Dorothy Hukill criticizes Democrat Frank Bruno for being “unable or unwilling to collect signed petitions from the citizens of District 8. Instead, Bruno chose to buy his way onto the ballot by paying a fee of $1,781.82.”

State Senate District 20 – Jack Latvala draws last-minute Democratic challenger (who has written a NY Times bestseller), Ashley Marie Rhodes-Courtier. My story here.

State Senate District 22 – An unknown write-in candidate closed the primary between Reps. Jeff Brandes and Jim Frishe.

Still, this remains a must-watch race, according to Democratic consultant Steve Schale, who told Bay News 9’s Troy Kinsey: “The Senate this last year blocked a lot of the Rick Scott agenda, and so I think what you’re seeing are the more conservative elements of the party wanting a Senate that looks more like the conservative elements of the Republican Party, and I think you see the Democrats looking at that as an opportunity, realizing that Florida really is a center-right or moderate state, to elect more Democrats to the Senate.”

State Senate District 32 – “In a surprise move on Friday, Senate Republicans persuaded Christopher Smithmyer, who had intended to run as a candidate in House District 100, to switch to the seat held by none other than Chris Smith, the Democrat’s choice for incoming caucus leader,” reports Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald.

State House District 12 – Rep. Lake Ray, R-Jacksonville has drawn a Green Party candidate for an opponent. Karen Morian, G-Jacksonville, qualified by petition this week to run in House District 12, against Ray, reports the News Service of Florida.

State House District 18 – Travis Cummings was elected without opposition: “It is an honor to have the opportunity to be the next Representative of House District 18,” said Cummings.  “I appreciate and am thankful for all of the support I have received from our local community.

Continued Cummings, “This new seat has given us the unique opportunity to elect one of Clay County’s own, and I am excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work, and be the strong conservative voice our families and neighbors need in Tallahassee!”

State House District 68 – Former Rep. Frank Farkas, R-St. Petersburg, has qualified to run for an open House seat in Pinellas County, summarizes the News Service of Florida. Farkas served in the House from 1998 to 2006 before losing a bid for the Senate. He will run in newly drawn District 68, which became open when Rep. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, qualified to run for the Senate. Farkas will face St. Petersburg Republican Daryle Hamel in the Aug. 14 primary election.

House District 73 – State Rep. Greg Steube gets late challenger: Bob McCann, the Republican Steube beat in ’10. This time running as NPA against Steube in 2012.(Via Jeremy Wallace)

House District 112 – One of the last people to whisk through the state Division of Elections on the last day of candidate qualifying Friday was a familiar face: Alex Diaz de la Portilla, a former Senate majority leader who filed papers seeking a return to the Legislature in the House in District 112, an open seat in Miami-Dade, reports Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times.

ALOE TO SOOTHE THE BURN AFTER QUALIFYING WEEK: Tolu Olorunnipa offers this video chronicling the last-minute scramble at the Florida Division of Elections.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.