Friday, June 29, 2018
Qualifying for 2018 Election Ends & Slate of Candidates Set in Florida
Following the 2018 Legislative Session, attentions turned to the 2018 election cycle beginning with Florida's statewide and legislative races. The qualifying period for candidates to officially qualify to run for Governor, Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, Commissioner of Agriculture, State Senator, and State Representative began on June 18and continued through noon, June 22. No matter who wins the November election, Florida will have a brand new Governor, Attorney General, and Agriculture Commissioner.
Governor Rick Scott is term-limited after serving two consecutive four-year terms. He qualified to run for the U.S. Senate seat against incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who has held this seat since 2000. Running to replace Governor Scott in the Republican primary are current Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, as well as a host of lesser-known Republican candidates. On the Democratic side, former U.S. Representative Gwen Graham from Tallahassee will face former Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Orlando businessman Chris King, and Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene in the August 28thprimary election.
Republican candidates who will vie for Attorney General in the Republican primary are former Judge Ashley Moody (Tampa) and state Rep. Frank White (Pensacola). State Rep. Jay Fant (R-Jacksonville) recently dropped out of the Republican race for Attorney General and is being considered by the Florida Cabinet among the candidates who have applied to become the Commissioner of Florida's Office of Financial Regulation. On the Democratic side, state Rep. Sean Shaw (Tampa) and attorney Ryan Torrens (Tampa) have qualified to run for the post.
Qualifying to run for Agriculture Commissioner in the Republican primary are state Rep. Matt Caldwell (Fort Myers), state Senator Denise Grimsley (Sebring), Mike McCalister (Venice), and former state Rep. Baxter Troutman (Winter Haven). On the Democratic side, candidates qualifying to run for the post include Jeffrey Porter (Cooper City), Nikki Fried (Fort Lauderdale) and David Walker (Fort Lauderdale).
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis was appointed to serve in his post by Governor Scott when former CFO Jeff Atwater stepped down. CFO Patronis is running statewide for the first time to retain his position and will face former Democratic state Senator Jeremy Ring from Broward County.
For a complete listing of all state and federal candidates who qualified for congressional, statewide and legislative races, visit Florida's Division of Elections:http://dos.elections.myflorida.com/candidates/CanList.asp