FL congressional races all over the map; some U.S. House incumbents need to campaign in November

By: - August 23, 2022 11:32 pm

U.S. Capitol. Photo by Jane Norman/States Newsroom

Several U.S. House members from Florida held on to their congressional seats on Tuesday, but others will need to keep campaigning for the November 8 general election, election data show.

For example, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, in the Panhandle, overcame two Republican candidates in the primary election for District 1, even after he made Twitter remarks such as discrediting women who rallied in support of abortion rights as “over-educated” and “under-loved.”

Gaetz also sought broad pardons for roles in an election subversion project that culminated in the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in 2021. And he has been under investigation for “possibly having sex with a 17-year-old and then paying for her to travel over state lines,” according to Orlando Weekly.

Now, Gaetz will have a Democratic challenger in the general election and it appears to be Rebekah Jones.

Remember, she was the former Florida COVID-19 dashboard manager who garnered national attention over allegations about COVID data. On her campaign website, she describes herself as “The Florida scientist, whistleblower and mother who risked it all to fight corrupt government, cementing her place in history as our very own Florida heroine.”

In South Florida’s District 27, María Elvira Salazar, an incumbent in Congress who came to the U.S. House in January 2021. won her Republican primary on Tuesday. But she now faces a showdown with Democrat State Sen. Annette Taddeo, who won the primary over two Democrats Tuesday.

In the Tampa Bay area’s District 14, Democratic Kathy Castor is an incumbent in Congress and she recently stood with colleagues with President Joe Biden to sign the new law on a climate, health care and tax package. She had a Democratic opponent. Castor overwhelmingly won in the Democratic primary, but she’ll face a Republican in the general election.

Meanwhile, in races where U.S. House members are leaving Congress, numerous candidates jumped into the ring.

In Central Florida’s District 10, a total of 10 Democrats and six Republicans were on the ballots.

On the Democratic side, Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a progressive activist who’s been endorsed by Bernie Sanders, garnered the most votes.  On the Republican side, Calvin B. Wimbish got the most votes. He is a self-described “retired Green Beret, an unapologetic Christian, and a fierce America First Conservative.”

In District 7, where Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy will no longer be running, the race included eight Republican candidates and four Democratic candidates. On the GOP side, Army combat veteran and Trump-administration defense adviser Cory Mill garnered the most votes.  On the Democrat side, candidate Karen Green won the most votes in that primary.

In District 13, two congressional districts in the Tampa Bay region were open, including the one Charlie Crist vacated to run for governor.

In District 13, there were five Republican opponents and Anna Paulina Luna garnered the most votes. Luna, who’s been endorsed by Donald Trump, won the nomination two years ago but lost to Crist in the general election.

In District 15, former Secretary of State Laurel Lee garnered the most votes out of the five Republican candidates. On the Democratic side, which also had five candidates, former TV investigative reporter Alan Cohn garnered the most votes.

In South Florida’s District 23, the Democratic primary had six candidates, with Jared Moskowitz garnering the most votes. Moskowitz earlier served as director of emergency management for Gov. DeSantis. On the Republican side, candidate Joe Bud won the most votes.

You can look at other U.S. House races here.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.