Gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis visits Versailles in Little Havana
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, riding a late surge of “souls to the polls,” has won Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, pulling an upset over former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, the presumed favorite.
In the Republican primary for governor, however, Palm Coast Congressman Ron DeSantis parlayed President Donald Trump’s endorsement to victory over his nearest competitor, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. Statewide results showed DeSantis with 56.4 percent of the vote compared to 36.5 for Putnam.
The Democratic primary was much closer. With more than 3 million votes counted and nearly 98 percent of precincts reporting statewide, Gillum leads Graham with 33.7 percent of the vote compared to 31.6 for Graham. Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine has 20 percent of the statewide vote.
In Broward, with 568 of 577 precincts reporting, Gillum leads Graham with 39.4 percent of the vote for the Tallahassee mayor compared to 18.2 percent for Graham.
In Miami-Dade, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, Gillum held a nearly 6 percentage-point lead over his closest opponent, Levine.
Gov. Rick Scott, as predicted, was the runaway favorite in the Republican primary for U.S. senator. Statewide, with more than 1.6 million votes counted, Scott had 88 percent of the vote compared to less than 12 percent for his competitor, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente.
In the Miami-Dade race to replace outgoing Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and represent Congressional District 27 in the U.S. House of Representatives, former University of Miami President Donna Shalala held a 4.5 percentage point lead over her closest Democratic opponent, Florida Rep. David Richardson.
With 93 percent of Miami-Dade precincts reporting, the Herald has called the race for Shalala.
Former Univision anchor Maria Elvira Salazar held a sizable 15 percentage point lead over former Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno A. Barreiro with 93 percent of Miami-Dade precincts reporting. The Herald has called the race for Salazar, who will face Shalala on the November ballot.
U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo held off challenger Souraya Faas in the Miami-Dade’s Republican primary, with Curbelo collecting 84 percent of the vote compared to 16 percent for Faas. Curbelo, who won nearly 84 percent of the vote in District 26, will face the Democratic nominee, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who earned 63.6 percent of the vote in her district.
The Republican primary for District 23 of the U.S. House of Representatives, Joe Kauffman won with 57 percent of the vote in Miami-Dade. Kauffman will face incumbent Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the November election.
Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson was reelected to represent District 24 with nearly 84 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
In races for state offices, former Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco led his Democratic opponents in the contest for District 113. Grieco has 41 percent of the vote compared to former Miami Beach Commissioner Deede Weithorn, who has 35 percent.
In the race for Florida Senate District 38, incumbent State Sen. Daphne Campbell, plagued by scandal, trailed challenger and former Miami-Dade prosecutor Jason Pizzo, who had 54.6 percent of the vote with 93 percent of precincts in Miami-Dade reporting. The Herald has called the race for Pizzo.
Polls in South Florida closed at 7 p.m., capping the last 12 hours of voting as Republicans and Democrats turned out in significant numbers — with more voters casting early and absentee ballots during these primaries than in the 2016 general election.
The competitive races from both parties for Congress and the governor’s mansion helped boost turnout to the highest in at least 10 years for an August primary in Miami-Dade.
More than 290,000 ballots were cast, and the turnout rate approached 21 percent as the final votes were counted in the Election Department’s Doral headquarters. The rate was just barely ahead of the 2016 August primary’s 20.5 percent turnout rate. At the time, that was the highest since at least 2008.
In 2014, turnout barely passed 14 percent in Florida’s most populous county. But as polls neared their 7 p.m. closing, Miami-Dade Elections authorities reported a turnout rate hovering around 20 percent.