Here’s what the Florida Legislature looks like after the 2018 elections

With Florida potentially looking at weeks of recounts and legal disputes, the dust hasn’t quite settled on the 2018 elections. But we do know (roughly) what the Florida Legislature will look like during the 2019 Legislative Session. Despite some Democratic gains in the House and Senate, both chambers will be controlled by Republicans. Democrats picked up […]

FLORIDA JUST ELECTED ITS FIRST IRANIAN-AMERICAN LAWMAKER TO THE STATE HOUSE

The four first-time candidates profiled in the VICE News web series “She’s Running” found themselves on opposite paths Tuesday night.

Democrat Anna Eskamani triumphed in her race to become the first Iranian-American lawmaker in the Florida state House. The victory, she told VICE News, “inspires other candidates to not falter because a consultant tells you act one way or to cower in fear because you’re getting blasted for something.” (Eskamani had to fend off mailers that attacked her as crass.)

Joy Goff-Marcil ousts Bob Cortes in HD 30

SCOTT POWERS
November 6, 2018, 8:48 pm

Democratic Maitland City Councilwoman Joy Goff-Marcil pulled off one of the big upsets of the night, soundly defeating Republican state Rep. Bob Cortes in Florida’s House District 30.

Goff-Marcil topped Cortes 55-45 in her Orange County portion of the district, and also defeated in in his Seminole County portion, 51-49 Tuesday night. Overall she won 53-47.

The victory topples a conservative Republican who had established himself as a leader in Tallahassee both on fiscal issues and in support for Seminole County’s rapidly-growing Puerto Rican population. Cortes was on the shortlist for Ron DeSantis’s running mate, and also made a name for himself countering the anti-capital punishment position of State Attorney Aramis Ayala in Orlando.

But Goff-Marcil pushed hard on her commitments to public education and local control for cities and counties, and knocked on thousands of doors throughout the district.

The district, covering inner-Orlando suburbs of Winter Park, Maitland, and Altamonte Springs, has been trending Democrat for years and she enjoyed a five-point Democratic voter advantage in registration.

Javier Fernandez wins first full term in state house

Democratic state Rep. Javier Fernandez won a tight contest Tuesday night to retain his seat in House District 114.

Fernandez earned 53 percent of the vote. His GOP opponent, Javier Enriquez, grabbed just 47 percent.

The candidates has similar resumes coming into the race. Both are practicing attorneys. Each of them obtained their J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law.

Though Fernandez is the incumbent in the race, his win against Enriquez secures his first full term in the Florida House. Fernandez was first elected to the seat earlier this year. He defeated Republican candidate Andrew Vargas and unaffiliated candidate Liz de las Cuevas in a special election back in May.

Previous elections in HD 114 have been razor thin, giving hope to both parties they could pull out a win Tuesday night.

Both candidates displayed an ability to raise money early in the race, though Fernandez showed himself to be the better fundraiser as Election Day closed in.

Enriquez did have support from some heavy hitters in the South Florida GOP community, in an attempt to offset Fernandez’ slight incumbency advantage.

Both U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo and former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balartbacked Enriquez’ bid for the House.

Florida House District 63 results: Incumbent Shawn Harrison loses to Fentrice Driskell

Florida House District 63 results: Incumbent Shawn Harrison loses to Fentrice Driskell

Driskell held a lead of more than 4,000 votes when she declared victory.

  • Democrat Fentrice Driskell defeated Republican incumbent Shawn Harrison in the race for House District 63.
  • With 53 of the 54 precincts in and a 6-point lead, Driskell declared victory.
  • For more election results: Check out the Tampa Bay Times results page.

TAMPA — Democrat Fentrice Driskell defeated Republican incumbent Shawn Harrison in the race for House District 63.

With 53 of the 54 precincts reported, Driskell held a lead of more than 4,000 votes when she declared victory.

Republican Harrison, 53, had held the Democratic-leaning district, which includes New Tampa, Carrollwood, Lutz and the University of South Florida, since 2014.

Driskell, 39,  is a political newcomer and a shareholder with the Carlton Fields law firm. She received a number of big-name endorsements, including one from former president Barack Obama.

A late push enabled Driskell to edge Harrison in fundraising, according to  records posted online by the Florida Department of State Division of Elections.

She totaled around $249,000 in financial contributions and slightly more than $71,500 in in-kind contributions. In comparison, Harrison raised slightly more than $238,000 in monetary contributions and around $60,500 in in-kind.

Harrison campaigned as a moderate Republican who voted in favor of state Medicaid expansion. He also voted for gun control measures to raise the age for all firearm purchases to 21, institute a three-day waiting period on rifles and ban the sale of bump stocks. He supported allowing cities such as Tampa to hold their own transit referendums.

Driskell says Harrison votes Republican most of the time and is too conservative on issues important to Florida. On gun control, for instance, she supports banning assault weapons. Driskell also supports funding drug treatment, mental health care and job training services to help get minor, nonviolent offenders out of the prison pipeline.