By Joe Dye
The Florida State House will not be a competitive chamber for the foreseeable future, if ever again at this point. Florida’s increasing GOP lean, combined with the maximization of GOP-lean and likely seats, through the redistricting process, as well as countless past missed opportunities by the Democrats has rendered the chamber uncompetitive.
However, this fall Democrats will need to retain a minimum of 40 seats in order to prevent the GOP from maintaining their super majority.
Under the new maps, competitive seats are present in the Orlando metro and the ancestrally GOP, top of the ticket Democratic areas in Miami.
With Democrats narrowly favored to escape being in a super minority, here are five seats that will help determine the balance of power.
- House District 45
Following a redistricting shakeup, House District 45 is located in Western Orange and Osceola County. This “Theme Park-Access District” encompasses most of the major Disney parks including Epcot, Walt Disney World and Walt Disney Resort.
This Biden +6 seat is a race between Democrat Allie Braswell and Republican Carolina Amesty. Amesty a teacher is running an education focused campaign, and has been endorsed by governor Desantis.
This is the type of race the Florida Democratic Party historically has blown or not put enough effort into.
- House District 91
House District 91 is located in Palm Beach County, centered around the city of Boca Raton, but also includes the Republican leaning suburb Highland Beach and the more conservative suburbs to the West of Boca Raton.
This seat is being vacated by Rep. Emily Slosberg, one of the Democrats few over performers in 2018.
The President won this seat by 5 points in 2020. Democrat and Boca Raton City Councilman Andy Thomson is running against Highland Beach Commissioner Peggy Gossett-Seidman.
Both candidates being elected officials, this race features two competent candidates. Thomson figures to have a small advantage, but the race will be close.
- House District 113
During the session, Three term State Rep, Nicholas Duran, announced he’d vacate the newly drawn HD 113. This predominantly hispanic seat swung heavily to the right in 2020, as Hillary Clinton won the seat by 29% to Biden’s 12%.
Democratic candidate A.J D’Amico, a lawyer, is running against former Lee County Commissioner and active Miami-Dade chamber member, Vicki Lopez.
Lopez has a lot of institutional support from Miami’s usual corrupt players and its supporting cesspool of Dade County grifters.
- House District 65
Earlier this year, Republican State Rep. Jackie Toledo vacated her Tampa based house seat in favor of a failed congressional run. This Biden +4 seat contains a large portion of Tampa’s military population and some more Republican leaning suburbs to the west of Tampa.
Democrat Jen McDonald is running against Republican Karen Gonzalez Pittman. Both candidates have raised and spent a considerable amount of money and the race is going to be very competitive.
- House District 106
During the session, Democrat Michael Grieco announced his run for State Senate against Republican Ileana Garcia. While Grieco’s run was aborted, in large part due to Florida Democrats incompetence, his absence vacated his Miami Beach based seat.
This Clinton +28, Biden +10 seat, contains the whole city of Miami Beach, Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach and Parts of North Miami.
Democrat and Bal Harbor Mayor, Jordan Leonard is running against Republican and reality TV star Fabian Basabe.