Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Eyes of the nation on Florida as black progressive takes on Trump endorsee for governor; plus all the Central Florida election results

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 11:32 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA CITY OF TALLAHASSEE

Andrew Gillum wins historic Democratic nomination for Florida governor:

Beating the projected odds, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum won the Democratic nomination for Florida governor Tuesday night. Gillum is the state's first African-American nominee for governor. If elected, he would be the first black governor of Florida.

In an unexpected upset, Gillum and his progressive campaign pulled ahead of former Congresswoman Gwen Graham. For months, Gillum has been locked in a contentious battle for the nomination against former Congresswoman Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Palm Beach real estate billionaire Jeff Greene and Winter Park businessman Chris King.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Trump-endorsed Ron DeSantis wins Republican nomination for Florida governor:

Proving the influence President Donald Trump still has over Florida Republicans, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis won the GOP gubernatorial nomination Tuesday night.

Early state returns showed DeSantis trouncing state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam by a margin of 56 percent of the vote to almost 37 percent.Although Putnam was the establishment favorite, President Trump endorsed DeSantis multiple times. DeSantis has been supportive of the president, especially on Fox News, where he's spent months trying to undermine the Russia investigation and defending Trump.

Fried, Caldwell ready to battle for Florida's agriculture commissioner spot:
State Rep. Matt Caldwell topped a four-way Republican primary for agriculture commissioner Tuesday, while lawyer and medical-marijuana lobbyist Nikki Fried had an easier time emerging from a field of three Democrats to become her party’s nominee for the Cabinet post.

Caldwell is a real-estate appraiser who traces his family back seven generations in Florida and was elected to the House in 2010. Caldwell had the backing of groups such as the National Rifle Association and from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

As a lobbyist during the 2018 legislative session, Fried represented the Florida’s Children First social-service advocacy agency; the Broward County School Board; and San Felasco Nurseries, which was one of the first medical-marijuana license-holders in the state.

The two will now go head-to-head in November to replace term-limited Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who lost a bid for governor Tuesday night.

Democrat Stephanie Murphy, Republican Mike Miller beat competitors in CD 7:

Both Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy and Republican state Rep. Mike Miller breezed past their primary opponents en route to the November general election.

With the majority of precincts reporting in Orange and Seminole Counties, Murphy finished with more than 86 percent of the vote, according to the state Division of Elections. The incumbent, who has held office since 2016, pulled far ahead of her challenger Chardo Richardson, an Air Force veteran and the president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Central Florida.

Meanwhile, Miller ended the night with about 54 percent of the vote in Orange and Seminole Counties. His competitors, former U.S. Senate advisor Vennia Francois and Sanford businessman Scott Sturgill, trailed behind him in the GOP primary.

Darren Soto surges past Alan Grayson to win Democratic primary in CD 9:

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto surged past former Congressman Alan Grayson by a margin of about 2-1 to win the Democratic primary in Congressional District 9 Tuesday night.

Soto received 66 percent of the vote to Grayson's 34 percent in the district encompassing all of Osceola County and parts of southeast Orange and Polk counties.

Soto will go on to compete against Republican Wayne Liebnitzky in the Nov. 6 election. Given the district's partisan lean toward Democrats, though, it's likely Soto will prevail in the general election.

Congresswoman Val Demings waltzes to re-election in primary for CD 10:

U.S. Rep. Val Demings won her re-election bid against Democratic financier Wade Darius Tuesday night in the primary election for Congressional District 10. Demings, who's held office since 2016, made history in 2007 when she was named the first female police chief of the Orlando Police Department.

Because Demings had no Republican challenger, all registered voters – not just Democrats – were eligible to vote in the primary election, which determined the winner of the race. When all was said and done, the incumbent Democrat walked away with 75 percent of the vote against Darius, a first-time candidate. CD 10 covers parts of west Orange County, including Winter Garden, Apopka and Ocoee.

Sheriff Jerry Demings wins Orange County mayoral race:

With more than 60 percent of vote, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings won the Orange County mayoral race Tuesday. Demings, a Democrat, faced off against Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke and local businessman Rob Panepinto, a political newcomer, in the nonpartisan race.

Because the county mayor is nonpartisan position, the election was won outright once Demings finished with at least 50 percent plus one vote. Demings achieved about 62 percent of the vote, according to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections. Prior to his three-term tenure as sheriff, Demings served as the county public safety officer and was the Orlando Police Department's first black police chief.

Demings will replace Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, who's leaving office due to term limits.

Teresa Jacobs wins school board chair:

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs handily beat her challengers for Orange County School Board Chair, according to returns from the Supervisor of Elections office. Jacobs, a Republican who was termed out of her mayoral position, received 52 percent of the vote, while school board member Nancy Robbinson came in at a far second, garnering almost 26 percent. Educators Matthew Fitzpatrick and Robert Allen Prater received about 17 percent and 5 percent of the vote, respectively.

Millage amendment passes:

Also on the ballot was a question asking voters if they supported an extension of a one mill local tax for public education. Orange County voters overwhelmingly approved an extension for this special property tax with almost 84 percent voters in agreement.

The remaining results from Orange County are below. Candidates who won their race are listed in bold:

County Commissioner District 6: Victoria Siplin, 75 percent; and Robin Denise Harris, 25 percent.

School Board Member District 1: Angie Gallo, 50.05 percent; Heather Traynham, 31 percent; and Terry Rooth, 19 percent.

School Board Member District 3: Linda Kobert, 68 percent; and Michael Daniels, 33 percent.

School Board Member District 6: Karen Castor Dentel, 52 percent; Patricia Fox, 35 percent; and Charlene Roberts Norato, 13 percent.

County Judge Group 11: Adam McGinnis, 64 percent; and Doricia Miller Rivas, 36 percent.

Circuit Judge, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Group 15: Jeff Ashton, 56 percent; and Howard Friedman, 44 percent.

Circuit Judge, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Group 26: Tom Young, 58 percent; and Joseph Haynes Davis, 42 percent.

In the following races, the top two candidates will be headed to run-off elections in November because no individual in the race received more than 50 percent of the vote:

County Commissioner District 2: Patricia Rumph, 30 percent; Christine Moore, 28 percent; Fred Brummer, 24 percent; and Mark Byrd 18 percent.

County Commissioner District 3: Mayra Uribe, 28 percent; Pete Crotty, 22 percent; Bobby Lance, 21 percent; Eric Rollings, 18 percent; Bill Moore, 8 percent; and Randy Whiting, 3 percent.

County Commissioner District 4: Susan Makowski, 35 percent; Maribel Gomez Cordero, 21 percent; Nicolette Springs, 20 percent; Kevin Ballinger, 16 percent; and Gina Perez-Calhoun, 8 percent.

School Board Member District 2: Johanna Lopez, 34 percent; David Grimm, 21 percent; Sara Au, 20 percent; Chadwick Hardee, 10 percent; Jacqueline Centeno, 10 percent; and Eric "Lighthouse" Martin, 5 percent.

School Board Member District 7: Melissa Mitchell Byrd, 45 percent; Eric Schwalbach, 23 percent; Chan-Denise Budhoo, 23 percent; and Jeffery Lynn Richardson, 9 percent.

Circuit Judge, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Group 41: Laura Shaffer, 42 percent; Dean Mosley, 31 percent; and Lorraine Elizabeth DeYoung, 27 percent.
 

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