Starting today, I am going to do a countdown of my top 40 races to watch on Primary Day. Of course, I am sure I will hear objections to my list, but I am going to put it together nonetheless. Because this list is only of the Top 40, there are a number of races that will be excluded, even some high profile races. So for all of you geeks out there that are going to have their Google Chrome tabs maxed out on results pages next Tuesday, here is your guide.
Also, these are only state races. I am not doing county races because I cannot be assured that all will be covered. There might be a barn burner in the Union County Commission, but I would have no clue. So here is your state list.
40th – US Senate (R Primary) – This race was low on my list basically because it is starting to become a foregone conclusion. Mack is easily the front-runner in this race. But since it will be one of the highest profile races in the nation as far as the general, it deserves being mentioned. The the primary itself will be lackluster and bring us no excitement whatsoever. Still, the office and the position on the ballot deserves respect.
39th – Florida State House 7 (D Primary) – Please read our previous link here regarding this race.
38th – State Senate Senate 15 (R Primary) – Both Kelli Stargel and Jack Myers have raised a ton for this primary so far. And even with that money being pumped into this primary, the wild card might be Ronald Rushing, who has only raised around $7,000. The reason that Rushing could be a threat is because he is the only Orange County-based candidate in this race. Stargel and Myers are both Polk County based. So far, Stargel has shown no presence in Orange County whatsoever, but Myers have been making the rounds. With Rushing being the actual Orange County candidate, he could possibly take votes from Stargel. What to watch for in this race is to see if Stargel loses because of a poor showing in Orange County, or if she is able to pull off the win. As of right now, I would predict Jack Myers to win this race, with Orange being the deciding factor.
37th – Florida State House 82 (R Primary) – Some will argue that this race should be higher on the list, and maybe it should be. Carl Domino is looking to return to the Florida Legislature and is battling it out in this race against four other Republican opponents. His toughest opponent is MaryLynn Magar. Magar is accusing Domino of turning this into a negative campaign by running a series of radio commercials attacking her conservative credentials. While the other three Republicans running in the primary haven’t raised as much money as Magar or Domino, they could possible split enough of the vote, which might result in a surprise come Primary Day.
36th – Florida State House 17 (R Primary) – Republican incumbent Doc Renuart has been drawn into a new district, with much of his old district being taken out. Renuart has a challenge from Mike Davis and Kim Kendall. While Renuart has outraised both of these challengers, both Kendall and Davis have raised a respectable amount nonetheless. For more on this race, please visit the link here at Saint Peters Blog.
35th – US Congress 19 (R Primary) – Six Republican candidates are in a crap shoot in the race for the 19th Congressional District. Chauncey Goss (son of former Congressman Porter Goss, what is with their first names) is piling up the conservative endorsements in the district. Even so, State Representatives Gary Aubuchon and Paige Kreegel have name identification. The same can be said for talk show host Trey Radel. With a number of well known, well financed candidates squaring off against each other, this race can be determined much like Democratic primaries were in the 1930s. This crap shoot race will determine who will be the area’s next Member of Congress. Don’t be surprised if there is a shock in this race.
34th – Florida State House 84 (D Primary) – Former State Representative Adam Fetterman is looking for a return trip back to Tallahassee after a two-year absence. He is running against insurance agent Larry Lee and and middle school teacher Kevin Stinnette. Stinnette will more than likely finish 3rd in the race which is mainly a feature of Fetterman and Lee. The biggest contrast between these two candidates comes from where these candidates are getting their endorsements. Fetterman is getting his endorsements from the traditional Democratic organizations, like teachers unions. On the other hand, Lee has courted and won the endorsement of the Florida Chamber. While this would usually hurt a Democrat in a Democratic primary, Lee has a good connection with the community. This will be one of the most interesting primaries of the evening.
33rd – Florida State House 63 (D Primary) – This primary between Mark Danish and Z.J. Hafeez is starting to heat up. This race has almost become a battle of those within the Hillsborough Democratic Executive Committee, with party officials picking sides in the race. Both candidates have had a less-than-impressive fundraising effort, which means everything is being done on the ground. Whoever wins this primary, they will have to challenge Republican incumbent Shawn Harrison, who has raised over $150,000 already. This is a district where Democrats should perform well by default. But they can easily lose if they don’t get their act together. The big question will be if the supporters of the losing candidate will back the winning candidate. We will see.
32nd – US Congress 26 (D Primary) – Joe Garcia is running for Congress…again. This time in the Democratic primary, he will have a stiff challenge from businesswoman Gloria Romero Roses. Both candidates are capable of performing well and the battle between these two should be quite interesting. Romero Roses is the former vice-chair of Ruth’s List, which we have reported on this site previous regarding their inaccurate information regarding candidate training. What is interesting is that unknown Lamar Sternad is campaigning on immigration reform and sounds a lot like a Republican.
31st – Florida State House 7 (R Primary) – Will Jamey Westbrook be back in the Florida House? He is trying to slug it out with three other Republicans in a “who can be the craziest of the crazies” Republican primary. Westbook’s toughest challenge seems to be from Halsey Beshears. Still, unlike other parts of Florida, the locals in this district will remember the name “Jamey Westbrook” and remember he was a Democrat. The question is if this will hurt him or help him. Also, his legal problems in the past doesn’t help his image either.
30th – Florida State House 20 (D Primary) – Political newcomer Marihelen Wheeler is taking on party-switcher turn party-switcher again Clovis Watson. Here is our endorsement of this race, which gives more of an insight into the race.