Races to Watch – Primary Election 2014


FL 18 – Five way GOP Primary will probably be won by former State Rep. Carl Domino. Domino, a perennial candidate  who had a penchant for under-performing time and again in his six House races (and lost a primary to Mary Lynn Magar in 2012) would be a weak nominee to face Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy in this GOP-leaning district.

Legislative Races:

State Senate 12 – Democratic primary –  Senator Thompson should prevail here over Former Senator Siplin, but we’ll be watching closely.


District 6 – Republican Primary – in this heavy R seat in a 6 way race, there is a lot of room for surprises.   Whoever wins will go against Jamie Shepard, but will probably come away with the win in November in this 70% plus Romney district.

District 8 – Democratic Primary. Rep. Alan Williams has a challenge and while he is expected to get through, panhandle races typically have lower turnout and there could be room for an upset.

District 9 – Democratic Primary OPEN to all voters.  Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda has more of a fight than it looks considering that all voters are eligible to cast their ballots. While she should pull out ahead and the district leans safely Democratic, but we’ll be watching this race closely.   MRV has been an important voice for the environment in the house.

District 15 – Republican Primary.  This is a bitter, bitter battle between two Republican candidates.   It is a battle over a Tea Party veteran Renner versus a business-minded banker Fant.

District 30 – Republican Primary – whoever wins will face Karen Castor-Dentel and a large margin in the primary could signal a hard race.

District 31 – Republican Primary OPEN to all voters. We featured B Grassell in a Ten Dollar Tuesday and talked about this odd race with 5 contestants. With all polling pointing to different outcomes,  this race will be on the most interesting in the house races this evening.

District 35 – Republican Primary.  Whoever wins goes up against Rep. Amanda Murphy, although after a hard-fought win earlier this year Murphy knows the ropes and has proven herself to be a tough fighter in this Democratic-leaning district.

District 40 – Republican primary. Colleen Burton and lawyer John Shannon are seeking the Republican nomination for the seat and the fight has been long and hard.  Burton has been backed by Senator Stargel, but Shannon has raised more money.


District 43 – Democratic Primary.  Rep. Ricardo Rangel should pull out ahead here.

District 47 – Republican Primary.  Whoever wins faces Linda Stewart.

District 61 –   Democratic Primary.  We just published a piece on Ed Narain, but it is still a four way race. TFS endorsed Sean Shaw, but in a race with this many players there could always be a surprise.

District 65 – Republican Primary – Chris Spowls is expected to win easily, but as he is already making plays for leadership in 2020, everybody will be watching to see how much he wins by.  He will more than likely face Rep. Carl Zimmerman in November in what will be an epic battle.

District 67 – Democratic primary/Republican primary.   On the R side, Chris Latvala is expected to come out on top and whoever prevails on the D side will have a difficult time against him.   TFS endorsed Sarnoff over Vercher, but both have equal shots at the nomination.

District 73 – Republican Primary.  While neither of the candidates are particularly important,  this is perhaps one of the most important races, as it is a preview of the fight for the control of the house in 2020 between Sprowls and Eisnaugle.  While the Democrats have little chance of getting a majority by then, whoever controls the house in 2020 does the redistricting process.

District 77 – Republican Primary.  Rep. Dane Eagle faces several opponents so it will be interesting to see if he can prevail in light of his recent brushes with the law.

District 81 – Democratic Primary OPEN to all voters. Rep. Kevin Rader is in an unexpected fight with a young Joshua Izaak.  While Rader should come out with a victory, Izaak will surely be a name to come up again and he should be encouraged to run in the future.

District 94 – Democratic Primary OPEN to all voters.   A safe D seat, Levoyd Williams is endorsed by TFS, but turnout will be everything.

District 96 – Democratic Primary.   Kristin Jacobs should win by a large margin over former Rep. Steve Perman here, but it will still be interesting to see by how much.

District 100 – Democratic Primary.  Joe Geller has the name recognition to pull this off, although Alvarez is a promising candidate for the future.

District 107 –  Democratic Primary OPEN to all voters.  Rep. Barbara Watson may not waltz to an easy victory here with all voters included.

District 108 – Democratic Primary.  Taj Echoles OR Michael Hepburn would be the better choice here, but with this many candidates it is hard to tell who will win.

Other Races Around the State:

Down ballot races matter!   As much as we talk about bench-building on this site, these are important stepping stones for growing a strong slate of Democratic state candidates for the future.  Many of these names will become familiar faces in Florida politics in a few years.


Tallahassee Mayor  – Andrew Gillium should easily win this.

In Alachua County, it is not so much as the Candidates as it is about Plum Creek, the timber company trying to change the counties comprehensive plan.   With half the candidates for and half against, it is a classic case of a big corporation versus a small town of environmentalists.

In Orange County, Josh Katz is the rising star to watch.   We featured him on Ten Dollar Tuesday and his TED talk has gotten him fans around the country.  A great addition to the local pool of political talent in the Orlando area – even if he does not win tomorrow, he will be back.

In Hillsborough, the County Commission primary between Pat Kemp and Mark Nash has gotten exceptionally ugly and divided the community there.  It will be interesting to see if the negativity paid off.

In Broward, the hot race is for the School Board District 4. Bob Mayersohn has the backing of every major parent and teacher group in his effort to unseat unpopular incumbent Abby Freedman.

In Miami-Dade County District 8 County Commission between Daniel Levine Caba and tea party incumbent Lynda Bell is a key race.





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