South Florida voters send fresh faces, incumbents to Tallahassee


Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

South Florida voters on Tuesday opted to send two new faces to the Florida House of Representatives.

Bobby DuBose, a Fort Lauderdale city commissioner, won the contest to represent House District 94 in central Broward County.

He edged out fellow Democrat Levoyd Williams, a city commissioner in Lauderdale Lakes. With 56 of 63 precincts reporting, DuBose had won about two-thirds of the vote.

Because there were no other candidates in the race, there will be no November election. DuBose replaces the termed-out Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale.

Another fresh face likely to be Tallahassee bound: Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs.

Jacobs, a Pompano Beach resident and former Broward County mayor, easily defeated former state Rep. Steve Perman in the Democratic primary for House District 96. Jacobs won 76 percent of the vote to Perman’s 24 percent.

Her only remaining opposition is write-in candidate Ronald Bray, a University of Miami graduate student who is not actively campaigning. No write-in candidate has ever been elected to the state legislature.

In northern Miami-Dade County, voters in House District 107 elected incumbent state Rep. Barbara Watson to a second full term.

Watson, a Miami Gardens Democrat, overcame three Democratic challengers: former state Rep. Phillip Brutus; attorney Michael Joseph; and retired educator Dominique Simon.

There were no other candidates in the race.

“I’m overjoyed,” said Watson, who has pledged to make reducing violent crime her top priority. “We’re going to work together to make a difference.”

Incumbent state Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, also secured his re-election to Senate District 36 on Tuesday, despite a challenge from fellow Democrat Anis Auguste Blemur. With most precincts reporting, Braynon was on track to capture more than 70 percent of the vote.

Braynon faces only a write-in candidate in November.

“I am honored that my district decided to send me back,” Braynon said, who celebrated his re-election with a party at the Calder Race Course.

Another incumbent — state Rep. Daphne Campbell, of Miami — won the Democratic contest in House District 108.

She is likely to cruise to victory in November. Her opponent, independent Cedon Saintil, Jr., has raised no money for his campaign.

Campbell declined to comment on her victory to the Herald/Times.

The winners of two other South Florida primaries face more significant political hurdles.

Former North Bay Village Mayor Joe Geller easily won the Democratic primary in House District 100, besting teacher John Paul Alvarez and education entrepreneur Ben Sorensen.

Geller now faces Republican Marty Feigenbaum, of Surfside, and Libertarian Party candidate Omar E. Recuero, of Hollywood, in the November election.

There were no surprises in House District 111, with adjunct professor and political newcomer Bryan Avila defeating businessman Alex Anthony in the Republican primary.

Avila, who began campaigning in February, said he was pleased to see his hard work pay off. But he was already looking ahead to the general election, when he will face Democrat Mariano Ariel Corcilli.

“I know I have a lot of work ahead of me,” Avila said. “I want to make sure to keep up the same place.”

Contact Kathleen McGrory at kmcgrory@MiamiHerald.com.

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