Florida's "Unofficial"General Election Results
Report prepared by Metz, Husband & Daughton,PA
As of 11:35 pm, Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Former Congressman Ron DeSantis (R) is the newly elected Governor of Florida. DeSantis defeated Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by a margin of 49.87% to 48.91%. Florida's gubernatorial race took on national prominence as a key contest between President Trump and the burgeoning Progressive movement, which backed DeSantis' opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. Governor-Elect DeSantis served in the U.S. House of Representatives for two terms and championed the traditional Republican "smaller government, lower taxes" philosophy. During the campaign, Governor-Elect DeSantis highlighted his working class upbringing, Harvard and Yale education, and his military service in the U.S. Navy.
Governor-Elect DeSantis is expected to continue down the conservative path of Governor Rick Scott and to work closely with the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature. The nature and scope of many of DeSantis' Florida policy initiatives remain to be seen, as the "nationalization" of this race led to a focus on federal issues such as immigration and on the broader battle between conservatives and progressives/liberals.With Florida's red tide and toxic algae problems on voters' minds, however, DeSantis did take a strong stand on environmental issues such as water quality, positioning himself as a self-described "Roosevelt Republican" on the environment. DeSantis has stated a specific desire to pursue additional cuts to Florida business taxes and to support increased funding for vocational programs.
DeSantis will begin the transition process immediately and will be formally sworn into office on Tuesday, January 8th. Since DeSantis has no Tallahassee background, his bench will surely feature some new faces from across Florida and the country.
Below are some high level results, some election day statistics and a link to check on all of the election results.
Statewide Gubernatorial & Cabinet Races:
- General election voters cast ballots in statewide races for Governor, Attorney GeneralChief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Agriculture.
- Former Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis who was endorsed by President Donald Trump won the Governor's race against Democratic challenger Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.
- In Florida's U.S. Senate race, incumbent Senator Bill Nelson was defeated by Florida Governor Rick Scott. Nelson has served in the U.S. Senate since 2001.
- Former Judge Ashley Moody (R-Tampa) defeated Democratic state Rep. Sean Shaw (D-Tampa) to become Florida's next Attorney General replacing outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi.
- In the general election for Agriculture Commissioner, state Rep. Matt Caldwell (R-Fort Myers) defeated political newcomer Nikki Fried (D-Fort Lauderdale).
- Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis (R-Panama City) who was appointed to serve in the CFO post by Governor Scott defeated former Democratic state Senator Jeremy Ring (D-Parkland) in the general election.
- Nineteen of Florida's 40 Senate seats were decided in the general election.
- Following the general election, the partisan makeup of the Florida Senate is 23 Republicans and 17 Democratic members.
Senate General Election Races:
District 8: Republican incumbent Senator Keith Perry (Gainesville) was leading in his reelection bid against Democratic challenger Kayser Enneking who is a physician. This Senate district includes Alachua, Putnam and Marion counties.
District 14: When incumbent Senator Dorothy Hukill, (Port Orange) died in October of cancer, the local Republican Party tapped Tommy Wright to run against Democrat Melissa "Mel" Martin. Wright won the Central Florida seat located in Volusia and Brevard counties in the general election.
District 16: Former state House member Ed Hooper (Clearwater) defeated former Democratic Rep. Amanda Murphy (New Port Richey) in the general election to win this Senate seat encompassing Pinellas and Pasco counties.
District 18: Republican incumbent Senator Dana Young (Tampa) is currently behind by less than 90 votes against House Minority Leader Janet Cruz (Tampa). The press is reporting that additional ballots remain to be counted. This race proved to be one of the costliest campaigns in the state.
District 22: State Senator Kelli Stargel (Lakeland) won her reelection campaign to retain Senate District 22 in Lake and Polk counties, defeating Democratic challenger Bob Doyel.
District 36: Longtime legislator Senator Rene Garcia (Hialeah) was term-limited in this Senate seat. Rep. Manny Diaz (Hialeah) defeated Democratic challenger David Perez to win the Senate District 36 seat.
District 40: Democratic Senator Annette Taddeo (Miami) will retain her Senate seat after fending off a well-financed challenge by Republican Marili Cancio. Incumbent Taddeo won her seat last year in a hotly-contested special election.
State House of Representatives:
- Heading into the election cycle, the state House of Representatives is controlled by the Republicans who hold 75 seats, while the Democrats have 41 seats, with 4 vacant House seats.
- For the general election, all 120 House seats were up for election with 19 "open" seats (16 Republicans, 3 Democrats) due to term-limits.
- For the general election, a total of 178 candidates (Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, NPA and Write-in) ran in 85 state House seats.
- Following the general election, the partisan makeup of the Florida House is 71 Republicans and 49 Democratic members.
House General Election Races:
House District 15: Jacksonville Republican Wyman Duggan defeated Democrat Tracye Ann Polson in this north Florida House seat.
House District 26: Former Republican legislative aide Elizabeth Fetterhoff defeated incumbent Rep. Patrick Henry (Daytona Beach).
House District 47: Democratic House candidate Anna Eskamani (Orlando) won this Central Florida seat by defeating her Republican opponent Stockton Reeves. Eskamani will replace Rep. Mike Miller (Winter Park) who lost his bid for U.S. Congress seat.
District 63: Incumbent Republican Rep. Shawn Harrison (Tampa) lost his House seat to Democrat Fentrice Driskell (Tampa) in Hillsborough's House District 63.
District 69: Democrat Jennifer Webb defeated Republican Ray Blacklidge in the battle for this open seat in Pinellas County.
District 72: In Sarasota County, Democratic state Rep. Margaret Good beat challenger former Republican Rep. Ray Pilon who was seeking a comeback bid to the House. Last year, Rep. Good won her special election for this seat in Republican-leaning House District 72.
House District 89: Democrat Jim Bonfiglio defeated Republican challenger Mike Caruso in this Palm Beach County seat.
House District 93: Republican Chip LaMarca (Fort Lauderdale) defeated Democrat Emma Collum to retain this seat for the Republicans in House District 93 in Broward County which is typically a Democratic stronghold. Term-limited Rep. George Moraitis held this seat for the past eight years.
District 118: Miami-Dade Rep. Robert Asencio (Miami) lost his reelection bid to Republican challenger Anthony Rodriguez.
House District 120: Incumbent Rep. Holly Raschein (Key Largo) won another term as she defeated Democrat Steve Friedman in District 120 which includes part of Miami-Dade, as well as Monroe counties.
Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Amendment 1: FAILED
Seeks to create a bigger property-tax break for many homeowners by increasing the homestead exemption by $25,000.
Amendment 2: PASSED
Would make permanent a 10 percent cap on annual property-tax assessment increases for commercial property, apartments and vacation homes.
Amendment 3: PASSED
Would give voters the "exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling" in the state and requires voter approval of casino-style games in the future.
Amendment 4: PASSED
Would automatically restore voting rights for felons who have served their sentences, completed parole or probation and paid restitution. Felons convicted of murder and sexual offenses would not be eligible.
Amendment 5: PASSED
Would make it tougher for future lawmakers to raise taxes by requiring two-thirds votes in the state House and Senate to increase taxes or fees which is more than the current majority vote.
Amendment 6: PASSED
Would create a series of constitutional rights for crime victims and would also increase the retirement age for judges. The amendment is known as "Marsy's Law," after the 1983 death of a California woman, Marsy Nicholas, who was stalked and killed by an ex-boyfriend. Her brother has spearheaded the national Marsy's Law movement.
Amendment 7: PASSED
Deals with the governance of the state-college and university system and would require the payment of death benefits when law enforcement officers, paramedics, correctional officers and other first responders who are killed while performing their official duties.
Amendment 9: PASSED
Sought to ban offshore oil drilling and vaping or use of electronic cigarettes in workplaces.
Amendment 10: PASSED
Would require all local constitutional officers - sheriff, tax collector, supervisor of elections, clerk of the courts and property appraiser - mandatory and require all the offices to be elected in each of the state's 67 counties and prohibits charter counties from abolishing or modifying those offices., to be elected, and would remove the ability of charter counties to modify those offices.
Amendment 11: PASSED
Would remove constitutional language that prohibits "aliens ineligible for citizenship" from owning property and would revise language to make clear the repeal of criminal statutes does not affect the prosecution of crimes committed before the repeal.
Amendment 12: PASSED
Would establish a new ethics standard for public officials and impose a six-year lobbying ban on state elected officials, state agency heads and local elected officials.
Amendment 13: PASSED
Would ban commercial greyhound dog racing at pari-mutuel facilities in Florida state after December 31, 2020.
In September, Florida's Supreme Court rejected and removed Amendment 8 from the ballot which would have imposed 8-year term limits on school board members, required civic literacy to be taught in schools and taken away the exclusive power of local school boards to oversee charter schools.
To be added to the state Constitution, each amendment proposal required at least 60 percent support from voters in the general election.
Takeaways from Florida's General Election:
- Big Picture: Florida has slightly more than 13.278 million registered voters for the November 6th general election - 4.68 million registered Republicans compared to 4.94 million registered Democrats. No-party affiliation (NPA) voters continue to increase in numbers with 3.549 million registrations. By comparison, during the 2016 election cycle, NPA voters totaled roughly 2.91 million.
- Voter turn-out for Florida's general election was over 61 percent as compared to 27 percent during Florida's primary election on August 28th. Over 8.1 million people cast ballots in the general election - an unprecedented figure in Florida politics.
- As of 10:09 am on November 6th, slightly over 5.211 million people had already cast ballots in Florida's general election, surpassing totals from previous years. Florida's Division of Elections reported that slightly over 2.491 million people voted by mail and nearly 2.720 million voters cast their ballots at early voting polling sites.
2018 General Election "Unofficial" Results
The Elections Canvassing Commission will meet to certify the official returns for federal, state, and multicounty offices on Tuesday, November 20that the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. The Elections Canvassing Commission consists of the Governor and two members of the Florida Cabinet selected by the Governor. Additional information on all state candidate races can be found at Florida's Division of Elections' website: https://floridaelectionwatch.gov/.