Rubio, Murphy likely to win their primaries
WASHINGTON – Florida voters will go to the polls today and select the nominees for U.S. Senate, decide whether to amend the state constitution to give a property tax break to promote solar energy and have a say in who should represent them in the U.S. House. Here’s a look at the races and issues facing Florida on Election Day.
Barring one last second disaster incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio will win the Republican primary over developer Carlos Beruff, a strong supporter of the GOP front runner Donald Trump. He has spent $8 million dollars of his own money on his first run for office. He has repeatedly criticized Rubio for missing votes while running for president and failing to enthusiastically back Trump for president.
On the Democratic side two Congressmen Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson are the two leading are locked in a tough battle. That said it looks like Murphy will take this race because of his strong ground game, his ability to fundraise and the backing of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
To say it has been a tough year for U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz would be an understatement as she was at the center of a major email scandal as the chairwoman of the Democratic Committee. Now she is facing her first primary since winning office in 2004. Her opponent is Tim Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor and vocal Bernie Sanders.
This will be a tight race and he is hitting Wasserman Schultz hard on her ties to big donors and Wall Street. Sanders endorsed Canova, leading to a flood of donations from outside Florida in what appears to be an effort to take revenge at the party establishment for the way the presidential primary was handled. Canova has raised about $3.3 million — more than Wasserman Schultz and an astounding amount for a first time candidate running against someone who has served the area for more than 24 years in the state Legislature and Congress
In the rest of the state with regard Florida’s congressional maps were changed last year after the state Legislature lost a court battle. The state Supreme Court ruled that lawmakers violated a voter-approved constitutional amendment requiring districts to be drawn in a compact manner that doesn’t favor incumbents or political parties.
So now there is one of the most active election years for congressional races. At least seven of Florida’s 27 U.S. House members will be newly elected due to members retiring or seeking other political offices.
Many of the state’s congressional primaries almost assure the victor will be elected in November because of the political makeup of the district. Republican primaries to replace retiring GOP Congressmen Jeff Miller, Ander Crenshaw, Curt Clawson and Richard Nugent will likely decide who is sent to Washington in November.
The same goes for the Republican primary to replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, who is exploring a run for governor after her district was redrawn in a way that favors the GOP. Democratic primaries to replace U.S. Reps. Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy, who are running for Senate, will also likely choose the next members of Congress in those districts.
Lastly, voters will go to the polls to decide on a ballot measure to provide property tax breaks for people who install solar panels on their homes. Amendment 4 was placed on the ballot by a unanimous vote in both chambers of the Legislature. The increased value to a home from the installation of solar panels or other renewable energy devices can’t be considered when assessing homes to determine property taxes. Environmentalists and business interests support the measure, which must receive 60 percent approval to pass.