Dave’s Top 40 Primaries (5-10)

10th – US Congress 22nd (D Primary) – A few months ago, Lois Frankel looked as she would be a shoe-in for this primary. While Kristin Jacobs was respected, she was considered a long shot in this race against the Democratic heavyweight Frankel. But in the coming weeks, it seems as if Jacobs has gained some momentum. As far as the two candidates, both will be good liberal votes in Congress. The question will be who will make those votes, assuming that they defeat Republican Adam Hasner in the general election. The reason this race has jumped up is purely because of Jacobs’ momentum. Any result in this election shouldn’t be a surprise, but could be very entertaining.

9th – Florida State House 81 (D Primary) – At the start of 2012, it looked as Steve Perman was going to return to Tallahassee with only token opposition from Republican James O’Hara. Instead, former Florida House member Kevin Rader decided to jump into the race in February. Since then, Rader has been able to raise a boatload of money, nearly $135,000 since February. Perman, who has been raising funds for a longer period, is only at $86,000. While this might be another typical Palm Beach brawl, with both candidates jabbing each other left and right, it will be interesting to see if announcing late and raising a ton of cash will prevail over the power of incumbency (even though Rader held the seat previously).

8th – Florida State Senate 4 (R Primary) – This primary between Rep. Aaron Bean and Rep. Mike Weinstein could be considered a battle between Senator Jack Latvala and Senator Joe Negron for the Senate Presidency in 2016. Outside groups (many of them supporting Negron or Latvala) have pumped tons of money into negative ads trashing both of these Republicans. It is estimated that nearly $2.5 million in outside money has been spent on this race. No matter who is the winner, they will be deeply scarred from this primary. In fact, the scarring seems to be projected as serious enough that the Florida Democratic Party has pumped $23,000 into Nancy Soderberg’s campaign. With her high profile, this could be a surprise grab for the Democrats come November, especially if the damage is irreversible.

7th – Florida State Senate 22 (R Primary) – While Democrats might have a chance for a Senate seat in the Jacksonville area, they absolutely messed up when they didn’t run a candidate in Senate District 22, where two Republicans will battle each other for the southern Pinellas County seat. Outside groups have been slamming both of these men on their record. Even with the negative attacks, PolitiFact says that many of these attacks are legitimate, leaving voters to ponder which attack that they should believe. What is unfortunate is that there is no Democratic alternative in November. Therefore, the people of this district will be represented by a Republican for at least two or, possibly, six years. Democrats dropped the ball, and the Republicans picked it up.

6th – Florida State House 29 (R Primary) – Chris Dorworth’s fast-track to moving up the ranks in the Republican leadership can come to a screeching halt on Tuesday, with both ethics complaints flying around, and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs making sure they stay in the news.  Both John Moffitt and Jeffrey Onest have hardly raised any money at all. But the unpopularity of Dorworth, money might not be the deciding factor in this race. If one of these men defeat Dorworth in a split vote, it would easily be one of the largest political defeats in Central Florida history. But the atmosphere has made it possible. It is also possible that whoever wins the primary, whether it is Dorworth of one of his opponents, Democrat Mike Clelland can mount a strong charge against the Republican challenger in a traditionally solid Republican district.

5th – US Congress 9 (R Primary) – Four Republicans are slugging it out for the privilege to take on controversial former congressman Alan Grayson.  The winner of this race can determine how hard Grayson will have to fight for the seat in November. If the Republican nominee is a Hispanic, Grayson will have a tough fight on his hands. Many Hispanics that are registered Democrats might jump ship and vote for the Hispanic candidate in the general instead of for the political party. A John Quinones or Julius Melendez win would spell trouble for Grayson. Luckily for Grayson, an overwhelming majority of Republican primary voters in this congressional district are white. If these voters pick Republican Todd Long or Mark Oxnar, Grayson will be able to solidify the Democratic vote and cruise to an easy victory. The worse possible candidate that Grayson could take on is Osceola County Commission Chair John Quinones. This explains the reason why Grayson has been running the ads against “John Q”. This also explains why Jeb Bush has confronted Grayson on these ads. I’m sure Jeb knows that Quinones is their best shot at winning this thing as well.

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