With just 24 hours until Florida’s candidate qualifying deadline, 7 Senate races are left without a challenge to the incumbent, meaning that should noon on Friday come and go, the candidates will be declared the winner of their race.
Clay Yarborough, Blaise Ingoglia, Danny Burgess, Erin Grall, Gayle Harrell, Jason Pizzo, and Anna Maria Rodriguez, all Republicans with the exception of Pizzo, are in line to emerge victorious in their respective candidate races.
Ingoglia, Grall, Harrell, and Rodriguez would flip Democrat seats red should no additional candidates qualify by tomorrow’s deadline.
A series of district map redrawings opened a lane of opportunity for the four candidates gearing to flip seats. Sen. Tina Polsky, who currently represents the Senate District 29 that Grall, who herself represents SD 54, is campaigning for, is forced to shift to the new SD 30, where she prepares to face Republican William Reicherter in the general election.
Such is the case for Harrell, who is looking to take over SD 31 from Sen. Lori Berman. Berman is seeking reelection to the Senate, though in SD 26 against the winner of the GOP primary between Steve Byers and William Wheelen.
For Yarborough, Ingoglia, and Rodriguez, their races are left vacant as a result of the currently-serving state Senators Annette Taddeo, Aaron Bean, and Randolph Bracy all running for Congress.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to earn the trust and support of the people who live in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, which includes much of the area I’ve been grateful to represent in my historic time in the Florida Senate since 2017,” said Taddeo upon her filing as a Congressional candidate.
The election cycle for 2022 will see an increase in candidates running unopposed, should races remain as they are. In the 2018 midterms, just 2 Senate races, won by Sen. Lauren Book and Sen. Audrey Gibson, saw unopposed outcomes. Though only 20 races were held in 2018, compared to 2022’s 40, the number of Senate races without a challenger is proportionally higher in this current cycle.
Elsewhere in state races, the House of Representatives has 24 races left unchallenged as of Thursday, also an increase compared to the 2018 midterms, which had 2 unopposed contests among 27 elections.