State of Sunshine Predictions: Florida House of Reps

With Election Day approaching, I wanted to take a moment to read some tea leaves and render predictions.

Here are my projected winners for the Florida House of Representatives (* = Incumbent):
1 – Greg Evers (R)*
2 – Dave Murzin (R)*
3 – Clay Ford (R)*
5 – Brad Drake (R)
8 – Alan Williams (D)
9 – Peter Boulware (R)
10 – Don Curtis (R)
11 – Debbie Boyd (D)*
12 – Janet Adkins (R)
14 – Mia Jones (D)
17 – Lake Ray (R)
18 – Doc Renuart (R)
19 – Mike Weinstein (R)
20 – Bill Proctor (R)*
21 – Linda Myers (D)
23 – Chuck Chestnut IV (D)*
24 – Kurt Kelly (R)*
26 – Pat Patterson (R)*
27 – Dwayne Taylor (D)
28 – Dorothy Hukill (R)*
29 – Ralph Poppell (R)*
30 – Ritch Workman (R)
31 – John Tobia (R)
32 – Tony Sasso (D)*
33 – Sandy Adams (R)*
35 – Dean Cannon (R)*
36 – Scott Randolph (D)*
38 – Bryan Nelson (R)*
40 – Eric Eisnaugle (R)
42 – Marlene O’Toole (R)
44 – Robert Schenck (R)*
46 – John Legg (R)*
47 – Kevin Ambler (R)*
48 – Carl Zimmermann (D)
49 – Darren Soto (D)*
51 – Janet Long (D)*
52 – Bill Heller (D)*
54 – Jim Frishe (R)*
55 – Darryl Rouson (D)*
56 – Rachel Burgin (R)
57 – Faye Culp (R)*
60 – Ed Homan (R)*
64 – Kelli Stargel (R)
65 – John Wood (R)
67 – Ron Reagan (R)*
69 – Keith Fitzgerald (D)*
70 – Doug Holder (R)*
71 – Ken Roberson (R)
72 – Paige Kreegel (R)*
73 – Nick Thompson (R)*
75 – Trudi Williams (R)*
77 – Denise Grimsley (R)*
79 – Mike Horner (R)
80 – Debbie Mayfield (R)
81 – Michael DiTerlizzi (R)
82 – William Snyder (R)*
83 – Carl J Domino (R)*
85 – Joseph Abruzzo (D)
86 – Maria Sachs (D)*
87 – Adam Hasner (R)*
89 – Mary Brandenburg (D)*
91 – Ellyn Bogdanoff (R)*
93 – Perry Thurston Jr. (D)*
95 – Jim Waldman (D)*
97 – Martin Kiar (D)*
99 – Elaine Schwartz (D)*
101 – Matt Hudson (R)*
102 – Eddy Gonzalez (R)*
106 – Richard Steinberg (D)
107 – Luis Garcia (D)*
110 – Esteban Bovo (R)
111 – Erik Fresen (R)
112 – David Rivera (R)*
113 – Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R)*
117 – Julio Robaina (R)*
119 – Juan Zapata (R)*

While the fight for President and Congress will be close, the fight for the Florida House wont be. Sure, there are quite a few contested races, but many of the seats above are not — A minor party or a write-in candidate the only thing technically stopping many above from being elected or re-elected.

That said, there are a few races that should be interesting.

First, in House District 80, Republican Debbie Mayfield is running for her late husband’s seat. Stan Mayfield passed away recently after a battle with cancer. A few years ago Representative Marti Coley, re-elected this year without opposition, won a special election for a seat vacated when her husband passed away while in office. I know we all keep both Debbie and Marti in our prayers as they serve our state under challenging circumstances.

Now for the politics.

I am actually predicting a switch in House District 21, where I have Democrat Linda Myers beating Republican Pat Freeman for an open seat. This district is nustled in rural central Florida, between Jacksonville, Orlando, Gainesville, and Daytona. It might be a stretch, but I needed to pick some upsets.

For my second upset, I came closer to home Because I think the Bay area will turn out a lot of Democrats, I have Carl Zimmerman beating incumbent Republican Peter Nehr in House District 48. In their first match-up in 2006, Nehr won by 3.2% — a margin that could be narrowed in a high-turnout election.

My third “upset” pick isn’t really an upset. In House District 32, Democrat Tony Sasso won a special election because the former Republican representative resigned in a sex-for-hire scandal. The GOP placed the district at or near the top of their targets, and I am sure they are coming after Sasso with all guns blazing. But I think the Democratic turnout will help Sasso.

It should help more Democrats, but in many cases they just didn’t field viable candidates. In Miami, there are going to be two Republican Congressional seats that will flip – but the state house seats there are so lopsided in financing, to make any real contest laughable.

A good example of a winnable seat for the Democrats would be House District 56. Current incumbent Trey Traviesa announced late that he would not seek re-election. In his place, the Republican Party selected a young, energetic, smart — but unproven candidate in Rachel Burgin. She will make a good state representative, so I am not criticizing her; but the Democratic candidate, Lewis Laricchia, would not quit the race in favor of a more viable Democrat.

This is just an example of how powerful our incumbent legislators are — in both parties.

In the end, the Democrats will pick up a few seats, maybe the ones I picked or maybe others. But the Republicans will still hold a dominant majority in the Florida Legislature.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
This entry was posted in 2008, Elections, Florida Legislature, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.