Rubio, Murphy And Wasserman Schultz Win

Favorites win across the state and now gear up for November

WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy each easily won their Senate primaries Tuesday, setting up a November showdown that’s guaranteed to be nasty as each party grapples for a majority in the chamber.

Rubio, who decided at the last second to seek a second term, easily fended off millionaire homebuilder Carlos Beruff and Murphy used the backing of President Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders to defeat U.S. Rep Alan Grayson, who was counting on his party’s most faithful liberal voters to overcome Murphy’s money and establishment support.

In other races, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown lost a primary as she faces felony fraud charges. She was one of the first African-Americans elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who recently resigned as Democratic National Committee chair, won her primary — the first tough race since being elected to Congress in 2004.

Rubio’s and Murphy’s victory speeches set the tone for the Senate race.

Elsewhere in the state, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), facing a 22-count federal corruption indictment as well as a redrawn district, became the fifth House incumbent to lose a primary this cycle. Former state Sen. Al Lawson won the Democratic nomination in her stead.

In Florida, political watchers scoured primary returns in a bevy of House districts that were been redrawn just months ago by a court-ordered redistricting. At least seven of the state’s 27 House seats will have new representatives in January, and as many as eight more could see turnover.

Hotly contested primaries developed to fill the open House seats of Murphy and Grayson, as well as those vacated by the retiring Gwen Graham (D), Ander Crenshaw (R) and Curt Clawson (R).

Many of those races have been marked by the familiar national dynamic pitting the party establishment vs. insurgents. In the redrawn 2nd District, surgeon Neal Dunn eked out a victory over lawyer Mary Thomas, who had garnered support from national conservative groups such as the Club for Growth.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.