Charlie Crist will face Ron DeSantis in the showdown for Florida governor

Congress member and former Florida governor Charlie Crist

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Charlie Crist won a lopsided Democratic primary Tuesday over Nikki Fried. According to the Florida Division of Elections website, Crist earned 60% of the primary vote to Fried’s 35%. Two other candidates got less than 3% each. That sets up a November general election where he will have to bring the party together to have any chance to defeat Governor Ron DeSantis.

Other statewide races

Democratic Congress member Val Demings will challenge Republican Senator Marco Rubio for his seat in November.

Aramis Ayala won the Democratic primary and will challenge Republican Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody in November.

Hillsborough rejects tax for schools

The Hillsborough County ballot question that would have increased the millage tax to supplement school revenue appears to have failed by a fraction of a percentage point.

According to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections website, “No” votes outpaced “Yes” votes by a margin of 50.1% to 49.9%. Fewer than 700 votes separated the two positions.

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer told WMNF’s MidPoint on Wednesday that Florida law mandates an automatic machine recount because the margin is so slim.

Primaries for Congress

Anna Paulina Luna won the Republican nomination for U.S. House in Florida’s 13th Congressional District in Pinellas County. She will face Democrat Eric Lynn in November.

The race for a congressional seat that covers parts of Polk, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties is now set, Republican Laurel Lee will face Democrat Alan Cohn in Florida’s 15th Congressional District.

Incumbent members of Congress Kathy Castor, Vern Buchanan and Gus Bilirakis handily won their primaries.

In North Florida, former state COVID-19 dashboard data analyst Rebekah Jones won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House in Florida’s 1st Congressional District. She will face incumbent Congress member Matt Gaetz.

Michele Rayner wins primary for a State House seat

In a State House race, Michele Rayner won the nomination for a gerrymandered district that includes parts of south Pinellas and southeast Hillsborough County. Her Republican opponent is Jeremy Brown, who the Tampa Bay Times points out is in custody at the Pinellas County Jail on charges related to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.