- Achieved through overwhelming successes on election night, Florida Republicans will hold a supermajority in the state capitol
- At the conclusion of elections, Republicans hold 85 seats in the Florida House and 28 in the Senate
- With the quantitative advantage, Republican lawmakers will ostensibly be able to push desired legislation through the legislative process at-will
- Voters can anticipate an expansion of “culture war” bills like the ‘Parental Rights in Education’ bill and more restrictive anti-abortion measures
The Republican Party of Florida exceeded its sky-high expectations on election night, positioning itself to hold a supermajority in both the state House and Senate.
At the final whistle of midterm elections, state Republicans hold 85 seats in the Florida House and 28 in the Senate, emerging victorious in nearly every competitive race. En route to attaining the supermajority, Republican newcomers ousted a series of established Democrat lawmakers including Loranne Ausley and Janet Cruz.
State Republicans were undoubtedly assisted by redrawn maps, pushed by the legislature and ultimately signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, which created four new Republican-leaning districts.
With all said and done, what can voters expect out of a Republican supermajority? Last week, incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo offered insight as to where priorities may lie.
Appearing on the Florida’s Voice radio show, Passidomo suggested that if the Republican Party of Florida achieves a supermajority they may work to expand the Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by its detractors.
DeSantis signed the bill into law earlier this year, which limits “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” in K-3 classrooms, acting as a major pillar of the Governor’s larger legislative agenda.
“It’s really important that parents of any school-aged child has the right to make decisions for those kids … if we have the supermajority we’re looking for in the House and the Senate we may be able to expand that bill,” Passidomo said.
More importantly, she suggested that the original bill was written in order to reach a compromise with opposing lawmakers. With a newly-acquired supermajority, state Republicans hold the power to bypass opposing input or concern, given the party’s ability to inherently pass legislation so long as Republicans vote along party lines.
Inferring further in Psssidomo’s words, we can expect the expansion of other “culture war” legislation such as the ‘Stop Woke Act’ and revisions to the ‘Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality’ bill that prohibited abortion procedures after fifteen weeks.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, DeSantis’ representatives have already initiated discussions with state Republicans and anti-abortion groups regarding the administration’s strategy to further expand abortion limitations.
The Democrat also reported that DeSantis is widely expected to seek a stricter ban, a so-called heartbeat bill that would prohibit most abortions after six weeks.
“I will tell you, you know, that 15 (week ban) was very difficult to be able to achieve,” DeSantis said to members of the media last month. “We were happy that we were able to achieve it. And so, you know, we look forward and we welcome future endeavors. But we realize there’s still going to be a fight on the legal end on that.”
Political operatives are also beginning to ponder how DeSantis will use his party’s advantage to craft his resume in anticipation of a bid for the White House in 2024.
The sheer scale of the GOP’s victories leaves a plethora of questions for the Florida Democrats, with many unsure of how to move forward.
With an abysmal voter turnout rate and few successes to be found statewide, some are anticipating the resignation of party Chair Manny Diaz and a complete overhaul of party operation.
“At the rate Florida is going, an NPA candidate for governor may have a better shot than a Democrat in 2026,” Democrat consultant Kevin Cate tweeted last night. “It’s that bad. Complete collapse.”