Five State Senate Races to Watch

Five State Senate Races to Watch

By Jim Saunders and Tristan Wood, The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — Republicans have controlled the Florida Senate since the 1990s and are looking to expand their majority in the Nov. 8 elections. Democrats, meanwhile, hope to pick up a couple of seats and chip away at the GOP’s control. Here are five state Senate races to watch next week:

— DISTRICT 3: Democrats have traditionally held this North Florida seat, but Republicans are pouring money into former Florida State University football star Corey Simon’s campaign to unseat Sen. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee. The district is anchored by Leon County, a Democratic stronghold, but it includes 12 mostly conservative rural counties and became more purple in this year’s redistricting. Simon has banked on his notoriety as a football player, which also included an NFL career. Ausley is a longtime lawmaker from a prominent Tallahassee family.

— DISTRICT 10: With this district almost evenly split between registered Republicans and Democrats, Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil, D-Maitland, is trying to knock off Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford. The district includes Seminole County and part of Orange County and went for Democrat Joe Biden by 4 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Brodeur has a large financial advantage, but Democrats hope he will be hurt by a “ghost candidate” controversy surrounding his Senate election in 2020. Goff-Marcil called on Brodeur to resign and be investigated.

— DISTRICT 14: Senate Republican leaders in April endorsed former Rep. Shawn Harrison, R-Tampa, as their candidate to try to defeat Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, in this Hillsborough County district. But that all changed when Republican Jay Collins entered the race with the backing of Gov. Ron DeSantis. Harrison left the race, and Collins and Cruz are locked in a tight contest in the district, where Democrats hold a slight registration edge. Cruz is a former House Democratic leader who toppled Republican Sen. Dana Young in 2018. Collins served in the U.S. Army Special Forces and received a Purple Heart.

— DISTRICT 36: Republican Ileana Garcia unseated Democratic Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez by 32 votes in a 2020 election shrouded in controversy after disclosures about a sham, no-party candidate who was used to siphon votes from Rodriguez. Garcia faces a challenge in this redrawn Miami-Dade County district from Democrat Raquel Pacheco. But Garcia has dominated fundraising and received large infusions of behind-the-scenes assistance, such as staffing and polling, from the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which spearheads Senate GOP campaigns.

— DISTRICT 38: This redrawn Miami-Dade County district is a rarity, an open Senate seat where two first-time candidates are squaring off. The seat is open, at least in part, because Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, decided to run for Congress. Republican leaders have heavily backed Alexis Calatayud, a former Florida Department of Education official, as they try to pick up the seat and widen their majority. Democrats have countered with Janelle Perez, a business owner and cancer survivor. Democrats hold a registration edge in the district, while nearly a third of voters are unaffiliated.

— Tristan Wood is a reporter for City & State Florida, a sister publication of The News Service of Florida.

10 Responses to "Five State Senate Races to Watch"

  1. @ Edward totally agree a conservative or “Gasp” Republican will be totally unacceptable to the voting majority here in Leon County for the forseeable future. If you have the time and money to try a conservative run for office in Leon/Tallahassee good for you.

    If you actually do it then you obviously failed to run your genius idea by your spouse – because statistally there cant be two people in one household stupid enough to give a conservative run in Leon/Tallahassee a try.

    Go to Mark Early’s Supervisor of Elections Leon County Florida and take a look at the unofficial voting results to prove to yourself the folly of running as a Conservative or even worse “gasp” as a Republican in Leon/Tallahassee.

    However (and nobody wants to do this) as I have suggested before:
    Go change your voting designation right now to “Democrat” then sit quietly for two years as you are joining the local Chamber of Commerce and other local leftist enclaves.
    Begin to dress yourself in the total dork leftist way. Seriously they dress differently…observe and learn.
    Put some Democrat bumper stickers on your Subaru wagon ( yeah you need to drive what they drive or they will smell the diesel fumes from your 4X4 and know you are a phoney spy ).
    Then you registar for the next election!!! Thats the only way – if you do it any other way you are never winning.

  2. Wow… both Ausley and Lawson go down. But a look at just the Tallahassee/Leon numbers shows why there’s no reason for a Republican/Conservative to even try.

  3. Congratulations to the following WINNERS:

    State Representative Elect Honorable Mr. Corey Simon,
    Excellent job!

    Honorable Governor Mr. Ron DeSantis
    Excellent job!

    Honorable Mayor Mr. John Dailey
    Excellent job!

    Honorable Senator Marco Rubio
    Excellent job!

    And to many others WINNERS on both sides of the aisles!

    The People’s agenda awaits your course correction starting January 1 2023 onwards!

    Happy blessed Holidays!

  4. Yeah I smell some B.S. on Ausley’s ad with her supposed Trump voter support. They must have found a true unicorn for that ad, a white male veteran Trump voter that backs Ausley?

  5. Well, just give it time, like 2 weeks or so after tonight. Dems will “find” just enough votes to claim a win in whatever race is the “closest”.

  6. I’m calling “B.S.” on Loranne’s ad with a supposed Trump supporter agreeing with a Libtard that they agree she should be elected. No true Trump supported would say that. Loranne is a liberal working against everything a Trump supports wants.

  7. Usually, when I vote, it ends up being 50/50. Half Dems and Half Republicans because I vote for the better Candidate I felt would do the best job for Florida. This year was a total first that ALL of the Candidates were of the same Party (Republican) except for the Local Commission Races, I just voted for the better person, not that I believe they were the best person, just the better.

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