The ballot is set.
Brian Mast will face Randy Perkins in the race to replace Rep. Patrick Murphy in Florida’s 18th Congressional District.
According to preliminary election results, Mast, a combat veteran and a double amputee, won a crowded Republican primary with 38 percent of the vote. Rebecca Negron came in second with 26 percent, followed by Mark Freeman with 16 percent.
“When I got into this race over one year ago, I wasn’t done defending this country. I wasn’t done fighting. That’s what we need is fight. We need people to recognize what the heritage of this country has always been. We are in a place that we should never be ashamed of,” said Mast in a statement. “I came to this when I was lying in a bed in Walter Reed Army Medical Center. That is what brought me to this moment. I am just not going to let the best defense I give our country be in my past. I decided Washington, D.C. would be my next battlefield, if you will have me.”
Freeman poured a significant amount of his own money into the race, loaning his congressional campaign $1.5 million through Aug. 10. But the vast amount of personal wealth didn’t seem to have an impact.
Negron may have been the most well-known in the area. A Martin County school board member, she is the wife of Senate President Designate Joe Negron. She had the backing of several conservative organizations, and raised $1 million for her campaign.
Republicans Carlo Domino, Rick Kozell, and Noelle Nikpour were also vying for their party’s nomination. Domino received 13 percent of the vote, followed by Kozell with 7 percent. Nikpour received 1 percent.
On the Democratic side, Perkins received 60 percent of the vote. Jonathan Chane came in second with 32 percent, followed by John (Juan) Xuna with 7 percent.
The district remains one of the few swing districts in the state, and the two could be poised for a tough race come November.
Murphy decided to run for U.S. Senate instead of re-election and won his primary today too.