Following confirmation from the Florida Division of Elections Office that data is updated following Friday’s deadline for candidates to qualify, 24 House and 6 Senate candidates appear set to win their respective races after going unchallenged.
The deadline’s passing locks in primary matchups across the state. Key matchups include a hotly contested House District 45 primary – 5 well-funded GOP candidates are squaring off in what appears to be the most competitive House district this cycle. Republicans eyeing the seat include Christian college executive Carolina Amesty, retired law enforcement officer Janet Frevola, businessman Bruno Portigliatti, business transactions attorney Vennia Francois, and Mike Zhao.
In the Senate, Democratic Leader Lauren Book will face off against Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief. In an effort to avoid a primary challenge, Book, who was elected to represent SD 32 in 2016, moved to the newly drawn SD 35. But now, Book will face her first ballot challenge in a district where Black voters account for more than one-third of the primary electorate.
“It’s time to stand up and be counted. Minorities matter,” Sharief said. “I didn’t decide to run against Lauren Book, she decided to come down and run against me. I’ve lived in this district for 21 years.”
On the federal side, The Sunshine State hosts one of the nation’s premier Senate races: Marco Rubio faces arguably his toughest opponent yet in Val Demings.
Demings has surprised many with her level of fundraising, raising an eye-popping $8.4 million on 3rd quarter campaign finance reports. Rubio, over the same period, reported hauling in $6 million during the same quarter.
Rubio and Demings have both raised about $30 million each, and both have spent $17 million, leaving about $13 million cash on hand as of the last report.
Former House member Bruce Antone made a last-minute filing, seeking another term in House District 41. A Democrat, Antone served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2002 to 2006 and again from 2012 to 2020, representing parts of Orlando in Orange County.
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 Senate races. Ingoglia, Grall, Harrell, and Rodriguez will flip Democrat seats red, tipping the Floridian government even further in favor of the GOP.
The election cycle for 2022 sees an increase in candidates running unopposed. 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 for this cycle.
Though confirmed with the Florida Department of Elections, candidate filing data is subject to late changes and additions. This article will be updated should new information appear throughout the day.
Victorious Senate candidates:
Kathleen Passidomo (R) – Senate District 28
Erin Grall (R) – Senate District 29
Gayle Harrell (R) – Senate District 31
Jason Pizzo (D) – Senate District 37
Ana Rodriguez Maria (R) – Senate District 40
Victorious House candidates:
Patt Maney (R) – House District 4
Jason Shoaf (R) – House District 7
Chuck Brannan (R) – House District 10
Wyman Duggan (R) – House District 12
Cyndi Stevenson (R) – House District 18
Joe Harding (R) – House District 24
Stan McClain (R) – House District 27
Tyler Sirois (R) – House District 31
Melony Bell (R) – House District 49
Diane “Dee” Hart (D) – House District 63
Will Robinson (R) – House District 71
Michael Grant (R) – House District 75
Spencer Roach (R) – House District 76
Mike Giallombardo (R) – House District 79
Bob Rommel (R) – House District 81
Lauren Uhlich Melo (R) – House District 82
Kaylee Tuck (R) – House District 83
Christine Hunschofsky (D) – House District 95
Michael Gottlieb (D) – House District 102
Felicia Simone Robinson (D) – House District 104
Tom Fabricio (R) – House District 110
David Borrero (R) – House District 111
Alex Rizo (R) – House District 112
Daniel A. Perez (R) – House District 116
*All names and party affiliations are written as listed on the state Department of Elections database