We’re covering the Florida Primary with live updates and results. Check back often for the latest election news.
For Florida’s primary, here are three key U.S. House races to watch to election day:
U.S. House, District 10: This is the seat held that has been held by Orlando Democrat Val Demings, who is running for U.S. Senate to face incumbent GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in November. There are 10 – yes, 10 – Democrats vying for the party’s nomination for the congressional post as well as six Republicans.
Why so many Dems? Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ redistricting map adopted by the Legislature made this a more Democratic-leaning district, but at the same time it diluted the African American vote. There are six Black candidates: state Sen. Randolph Bracy, progressive activist Maxwell Frost, the Rev. Terence Gray, civil rights attorney Natalie Jackson, businessman Jeffrey Boone, and ex-U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown. Also running on the Democratic side are four non-Black candidates, including former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson.
Frost, a 25-year-old former ACLU staffer and gun control activist arrested during Orlando’s Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, had out-raised all of his opponents combined as of July had $1.3 million. But Grayson has been hitting back against Frost with a series of ads online and on television.
U.S. House, District 7: Stephanie Murphy, a moderate Democrat from Winter Park, is the incumbent but she decided not to run for reelection. Republicans are favored to win the open seat with the district’s redrawn boundaries, and eight GOP candidates are in the race.
Among then are State Rep. Anthony Sabatini from Lake County, an ultra-conservative who has clashed with Florida’s legislative GOP leaders on several occasions, blasting “coward, RINO, spineless invertebrate scumbags” at events. Also, Cory Mills, a combat Army veteran, made a splash with ads comparing Democratic leaders to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Brady Duke, a former Navy SEAL, has raised the most money heading into the election, taking in nearly $2.6 million. Duke is highlighting his experience in elite special forces.
Also on the GOP side, are former DeBary vice mayor Erika Benfield; former Orange County commissioner Ted Edwards; Army veteran Al Santos; business owner Scott Sturgill; and Rusty Roberts, a longtime chief of staff to former Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica, who held the District 7 seat before Murphy.
U.S. House, District 1: This race is outside of Central Florida, but has a connection to the region. One of the U.S. House’s most controversial members, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, is facing a strong primary challenge from Mark Lombardo, a former Marine and former FedEx executive who has run a series of ads attacking Gaetz for being under federal investigation in a sex trafficking case. Gaetz has not been charged and denies wrongdoing.