Tuesday marks the conclusion of August’s primary elections for the midterm elections, with contests taking place in three states: Florida, New York, and Oklahoma.
Notable contests include the Democratic primary in Florida, in which the winner will face off against the incumbent Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, and the Republican Senate primary runoff in Oklahoma, in which the winner will very certainly become the state’s next junior senator.
But it’s the races for the House of Representatives that are taking the spotlight right now, with several close fights in Florida and notably New York that have the potential to be deciding factors in who controls the house in the coming year.
Both states’ congressional districts have been redrawn, which has thrown both elections into disarray.
In Florida, DeSantis took control of the state’s redistricting process by surprise earlier this year and pushed through a more partisan redrawing of the state’s congressional boundaries. As a result, Republicans are likely to have an advantage in at least 18 of the state’s 28 districts.
As a result of the state’s reappointment after the census of 2020, it received an additional seat.
In April, the highest court in New York overturned a plan of the state’s congressional districts that had been drawn by Democrats and ordered that a new map be constructed by a “special master” who had been appointed by a lower court.
The ruling moved the primary for the House of Representatives from the end of June to August. The Democrats had intended to gain as many as 22 seats out of a possible 26, but under the altered map, they are only favoured to win 15 seats, with perhaps half a dozen districts still close. During the process of reapportionment, the state shed one of its seats.
On Tuesday, in addition to the regularly scheduled primaries, the state of New York will also hold two special elections for the House of Representatives to fill the remaining terms of congressmen who resigned earlier this year. The lines that are currently in place for the House of Representatives will be used for these elections.
In the meanwhile, runoff elections will take place on Tuesday in Oklahoma for contested contests in which no candidate received more than 50% of the vote in the primary elections held in June.
One of these is the primary runoff for the Republican nomination for the open seat in the 2nd Congressional District. In contrast to Florida and New York, the number of congressional seats in Oklahoma did not change as a result of the reapportionment, and it is expected that Republicans will be able to hold on to all of the state’s five seats under a map prepared by Republicans.
On Tuesday, we will be keeping an eye on the following primaries for the House of Representatives:
Florida DeSantis did not just make the state’s new map more advantageous for Republicans; he also blew up the North Florida district, which was controversial because it was the district in which Representative Al Lawson, a Black Democrat, represented African American communities from Tallahassee to Jacksonville.
Whether or not DeSantis violated the state Constitution in the process of drawing this district is the subject of an ongoing legal battle; however, for the time being, Jacksonville, the city with the most people of African descent in the state, is divided between two districts with a tendency toward supporting the Republican party (the 4th and the 5th).
In the meanwhile, Lawson is running against Republican Representative Neal Dunn in the 2nd District, although he is the underdog in a race for a district that President Donald Trump would have won by a margin of 11 points in the 2020 election.
Rep. John Rutherford, a Republican, is running for re-election in the newly created 5th Congressional District, but there is no incumbent in the 4th District, which contains the western part of Jacksonville.
State Senator Aaron Bean, who has served in the state legislature for the past 16 years, has received support from a large number of elected Republicans.
Erick Aguilar, a member of the United States Navy who is also running as a Republican and who challenged Rutherford in 2020 but lost, is campaigning on the platform of putting “Americans First.” In the 4th and 5th congressional districts, Trump would have won by a margin of 7 and 16 points, respectively.
On Tuesday, several Republican incumbents sitting in safe seats will have to fend off primary challenges from potentially competitive candidates.
This includes Representative Matt Gaetz, who as of August 3 had already spent more than $6 million, the most of any House candidate in Florida, to defend his 1st District seat in the state’s western Panhandle against Mark Lombardo, a Vietnam veteran who has loaned his campaign more than $70,000.
Rep. Lombardo is challenging Rep. Gaetz for his seat in the 1st District in the western Panhandle of the state.
Trump has maintained his support for the incumbent, who has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime despite claims that an investigation is being conducted into an alleged contact with a juvenile that Gaetz had.
Rep. Kat Cammack, a freshman representing Florida’s 3rd District in North Central Florida, is quickly becoming a rising star in her party.
However, due to a recent vote, she cast in favour of legislation that would codify same-sex marriage, she is now subject to criticism from conservatives.
In the meantime, right-wing activist Laura Loomer, who has been banned from multiple social media platforms for making incendiary comments, is now attempting to unseat six-term Representative Daniel Webster in the 11th Congressional District west of Orlando, which Trump would have carried by 11 points in the 2020 election.
Loomer lost a race for a seat based in Palm Beach in the 2020 election.
As of the 3rd of August, Loomer had raised more money than Webster, who was a rare House GOP incumbent in Florida who did not get Trump’s endorsement before the primary.
Also located in the Orlando area, the 7th District was previously considered to be in the “purple” category and was held by retiring moderate Democratic Representative Stephanie Murphy.
However, the district is now considered to be in the “red” category and has become a poster child for the kind of MAGA-on-MAGA battle royales that the new DeSantis map has prompted.
Eight Republicans have entered the race for the seat, including a retired Navy SEAL who is supported by Texas Representative Dan Crenshaw (Brady Duke), a weapons manufacturer who boasts his products were used on protesters following the murder of George Floyd (Cory Mills), and a state representative who has called for Florida to audit the 2020 election (Anthony Sabatini).
At a recent debate, all of the contenders stated that, should they be elected, they will move to impeach President Joe Biden. In the election for November, the Republican nominee would be favoured to win a seat that Trump would have won by almost 6 points.
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The very blue 10th Congressional District, which includes parts of Orlando and is being vacated by Representative Val Demings because he is running for the Senate, is heavily predicted to remain in Democratic hands.
State Senator Randolph Bracy, former United States Representative Corrine Brown (who recently resolved a federal corruption charge after obtaining a new trial and served more than two years in jail), and former United States Representative Alan Grayson are all potential candidates for the position.
Maxwell Frost, a Generation Z candidate backed by progressive senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, is also generating a considerable amount of buzz.
During the summer, Frost interrupted a public interview that conservative talk show host Dave Rubin was conducting with DeSantis by calling for an end to gun violence.
According to the campaign’s filings with the Federal Election Commission, he had raised more money than any other contender up until August 3 with a total of $1.5 million.
With ten people vying for the Democratic nomination, party members are preparing themselves for an unexpected outcome.