Voters guide for the Florida primary election

in Uncategorized by

Florida’s primary election for governor, Congress, the Legislature and other offices is Tuesday. Here are five things voters should know:

GOVERNOR’S RACE: Most attention is being focused at the top of the ballot where Democrats and Republicans will chose their nominee for governor. For Democrats, the choice is between former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and former state Sen. Nan Rich. Crist has mostly ignored Rich even though she has been in the race much longer than he has. Crist has raised more money and drawn more attention and is viewed as the overwhelming favorite. Rich has questioned Crist’s switch to the Democratic Party and his policy changes. Gov. Rick Scott is facing two political unknowns in the Republican primary.

ATTORNEY GENERAL: Democratic voters are deciding who will challenge incumbent Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi in the general election. George Sheldon, a former deputy attorney general and a top aide in the Obama administration, is running against State Rep. Perry Thurston from Fort Lauderdale. Neither candidate has been able to raise a lot of money and relied on radio ads and campaign appearances at Democratic forums to get the word out.

CONGRESS: Most members of the U.S. House aren’t on this year’s primary ballot. Only eight incumbent members drew opponents from their own political parties. But there are two Republican primaries that are drawing a lot of attention. GOP voters in south Florida will decide from among five candidates for a nominee to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia. The five candidates include Miami-Dade school board member Carlos Curbelo and former U.S. Rep. David Rivera who was defeated by Garcia just two years ago. There are also six Republicans vying to challenge U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy in November.

LEGISLATURE: There are 41 legislative races that have primaries. While some incumbents have been challenged it’s the primaries for open legislative seats in places such as Jacksonville, Sarasota and Panama City that have triggered the most combative contests.

OLD MAP REMAINS IN PLACE: The Florida Legislature recently adopted a new congressional map that alters the boundaries of seven of the state’s 27 congressional districts. But the judge who ordered state legislators to change the districts agreed to delay the implementation of the new boundaries until the 2016 election.