Stearns Trails Challenger With All Precincts Reporting
Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., shockingly appears to have fallen short in his bid for renomination in Florida's 3rd District Tuesday night, trailing the Republican primary to veterinarian Ted Yoho. With all precincts reporting, Yoho was outpolling Stearns 34 percent to 33 percent and clinging to a 829-vote lead. The Associated Press has not yet called the race.
Redistricting forced Stearns, a 12-term incumbent, into new territory just west of the Panhandle, and his image took a severe hit at the beginning of the year after another candidate accused Stearns of attempting to bribe him out of the race. Though two local officeholders also challenged Stearns, Yoho ran as an outsider and a businessman and was able to consolidate enough of the anti-incumbent vote to squeak past Stearns.
Stearns is the 12th House member to lose a primary this cycle and just the fifth to lose to a non-incumbent challenger.