2020 Florida Primary Champs and Chumps

by | Aug 19, 2020


Matt Gaetz

The firebrand conservative cruised to another election victory Tuesday night, easily winning the Republican primary for Florida’s 1st Congressional District.

Gaetz easily dispatched his GOP challengers, Greg Merk and John Mills, garnering 87,431 votes (80.93% of all votes casts), while Mills picked up 10,376 votes (9.6%) and Merk accumulated 10,222 votes (9.46%).

An ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, Gaetz victory comes as no surprise to anyone who keeps up with politics. The political rockstar was a lock to represent the Republican Party this November, and will inevitably secure his third term as the representative of CD 1, which covers Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.

So with a guaranteed victory, why does Gaetz get the nod?

Simple: his endorsements.

Gaetz endorsements six candidates running to represent the Republican ticket — Anna Paulina Luna, Laura Loomer, Scott Franklin, Marcus Chambers, Alex Andrade, and Judson Sapp — with all but Sapp picking up victories last night.

Gaetz proved that his name on a campaign can carry it t0 victory — à la Trump. 5 for 6 ain’t bad, and that’s why the star of HBO’s The Swamp comes out smelling like roses.



Kat Cammack

The lone survivor in Gaetz’s scorched-Florida endorsement crusade, Kat Cammack defied odds and strolled to an easy victory in a 10-person primary for Florida’s 3rd Congressional District.

Cammack picked up 25.2 percent of the vote, edging out Sapp who only finished with 19.9 percent of the vote, despite boasting some national endorsements that included Rep. Gaetz, political aide Roger Stone, and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk.

Meanwhile, Cammack ran a more grassroots campaign, predicated on her experience as Congressman Ted Yoho‘s deputy chief of staff and her positions on red meat issues like the 2nd Amendment, the border wall, and pro-life policies.

Cammack will now go on to face the Democrat primary winner Adam Christensen — a matchup that bodes well for Cammack given her name recognition in the Republican stronghold.



Everglades Trust

In six of the most hotly contested races of the primary season, one thing is certain: it didn’t matter if you were a Republican or a Democrat. If you were backed by the Everglades Trust, you lost. Among the biggest names to go down in flames thanks to their flawed, anti-agriculture messaging in the midst of a global pandemic: Republican Heather Fitzenhagen and Democrat Irv Slosberg. Both got smoked.

Other notable casualties: Republican congressional candidate Casey Askar, who finished a distant third to second place finisher Dane Eagle, and the night’s big winner, Byron Donalds, who was pushed over the top with a little help from Club for Growth and their positive economic messaging, marking a significant contrast with the anti-agriculture, anti-corporation messaging of the Everglades Trust.

Most of the group’s other endorsed candidates weren’t even serious contenders.



Judson Sapp

Despite a star-studded array of conservative luminaries, which included Roger Stone, Matt Gaetz, Dana Loesch, and others, Republican congressional candidate Judson Sapp failed to impress the voters of Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Gainesville and surrounding counties. The contest was to determine which Republican would be nominated to replace the beloved outgoing Congressman Ted Yoho, who fulfilled his promise to serve only four terms and return home from Washington D.C.

After trotting out a host of GOP stars at barbecues and virtual events during the months-long contest, Sapp fell short to former Yoho staffer Kat Cammack, who bested him by a little more than 4,200 votes.

Anyone with that many friends in conservative circles probably has a political future in Florida’s political scene. Unfortunately for Sapp, it likely won’t involve going to Congress to represent the Gainesville area anytime soon.


Rick Kozell

 If you’re gonna spend $88 per vote on a state house race, you better win. Unfortunately, Rick Kozell spent the cash, but didn’t get the “W.” That makes him one of our biggest chumps of the primary cycle after vastly outspending his two opponents combined.

Despite his massive cash advantage, Kozell started with two signficant disadvantages for a candidate running in HD82: he lived in the wrong county (Palm Beach), and there ain’t no way Martin County Republicans were gonna let those uppity Palm Beachers determine the outcome.

Oh, there was one other small thing: Kozell’s opponent, John Snyder, just happened to be the son of Martin County Sheriff William Snyder.

And if you’re keeping score, Snyder spent $16 per vote to win the nomination.


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