FL House Results: Alan Grayson's Good News
FL-26 [10:10 p.m.] Two-time Democratic congressional nominee Joe Garcia won the right to take on freshman Republican Rep. David Rivera Tuesday night in Florida's 26th Congressional District, setting up a rematch of their 2010 matchup in a different environment.
With 94 percent of precincts reporting in the Miami-based district, Garcia led businesswoman Gloria Romero Roses 53 percent to 31 percent in the Democratic primary, with two other candidates dividing the remainder of the vote. The Associated Press called the race for Garcia.
Garcia and Romero Roses both got into the race late after another Democratic candidate dropped out, and Garcia's name recognition from previous runs helped boost him to a decisive primary victory. Now he will turn his attention to Rivera, who beat Garcia 52 percent to 43 percent in 2010 but has been bedeviled by ethical complaints since then. Rivera's fundraising is more or less frozen, and the district split nearly evenly between Democrats and Republicans in the 2008 presidential race.
But Garcia will have to contend with high negatives from his previous runs. Last cycle, Rivera hit Garcia as soft on Cuba and will surely reprise those lines again. Still, Rivera's relative lack of funds and checkered past make this a race to watch in the fall.
FL-02 [9:57 p.m.] Former state senator Al Lawson won the Democratic nomination to take on freshman Republican Rep. Steve Southerland Tuesday night in Florida's 2nd District. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Lawson, who is African-American, had 54 percent of the primary vote to 26 percent for state legislator Leonard Bembry, with two other candidates dividing the rest. The Associated Press called the primary for Lawson.
Lawson challenged then-Rep. Allen Boyd in the 2010 Democratic primary and put up a strong showing against the incumbent, who later lost to Southerland in the general election. But Bembry -- who was endorsed by the Blue Dog PAC -- was considered a potentially better general election candidate for Democrats than the more liberal Lawson in a district the both John McCain and George W. Bush narrowly won in the past two presidential races.