Bobby DuBose, Dotie Joseph stave off primary challenges and secure reelection

Florida Primary Election USA
DuBose and Joseph were two of six South Florida Democrats able to secure a House seat outright Tuesday.

New officeholders in six South Florida House seats were decided Tuesday in primary races that featured only Democratic candidates, which meant the winners will represent those respective districts next Session. Florida Politics is recapping the results of those races below.

House District 94

Democratic Rep. Bobby DuBose easily staved off a primary challenge from 21-year-old Elijah Manley.

According to Tuesday’s unofficial results, DuBose secured 70% of the vote compared to just 30% for Manley.

DuBose won the HD 94 seat in 2014. He’ll serve a final two-year term before facing the state’s eight-year term limit.

Manley framed himself as a progressive in the race after running in 2018 for a Broward County School Board seat at just 19 years old. Last year, Manley also launched a stunt candidacy for President as a socialist candidate, despite the Constitution requiring presidential candidates to be at least 35 years old. He eventually halted that effort.

DuBose is a former Chair of the Broward County legislative delegation. He emerged from a two-person Democratic primary in 2014 to take the seat. DuBose faced no primary challenge in either 2016 or 2018 and has never faced a General Election opponent in the deep-blue district.

DuBose also out-raised his challenger, further securing his hold on the seat. HD 94 covers parts of Broward County including Fort Lauderdale, Plantation and Wilton Manors.

House District 95

Like HD 94, this district featured a left-leaning challenger attempting to unseat an incumbent. Like DuBose, Anika Omphroy held off her primary opponent, though by a much more narrow margin.

Omphroy managed a razor-thin win over Jasmen Rogers-Shaw, topping her by just 435 votes. That gives Omphroy a 51%-49% edge.

Omphroy served just one term in the House after winning the seat in 2018. She was the only candidate to file for the seat that cycle, giving her the seat by default.

Omphroy has faced criticism from the left, however. Ruth’s List Florida endorsed Rogers-Shaw, in part because of Omphroy’s vote in favor of a bill requiring minors to obtain parental consent — with some exceptions — before undergoing an abortion.

Ruth’s List Florida backs Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights.

The Florida Medical Association’s PAC saw things differently, backing Omphroy in the contest.

Rogers-Shaw has highlighted her progressive bona fides after working as a staffer on Elizabeth Warren‘s 2020 presidential campaign. She also easily outraised Omphroy in the primary contest, despite joining the race in April.

With only Democrats running, the race was open to voters of all parties.

HD 95 runs through portions of Broward County including North Lauderdale, Sunrise and Lauderhill.

House District 102

Former Miami Gardens Council member Felicia Robinson will take over this seat, emerging from a four-person primary to replace term-limited Democratic Rep. Sharon Pritchett.

Robinson was the top fundraiser in the contest, collecting more than $73,000. David Williams Jr., who currently serves on the Miami Gardens City Council, placed second to Robinson with nearly $50,000 raised.

Those two appeared to be the favorites heading into the contest, with Robinson securing support from Sen. Oscar Braynon II, whose district overlaps with HD 102. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel endorsed Williams.

Matthew Tisdol, who ran for the House District 104 seat in 2010, added nearly $19,000. Former Miramar City Commission candidate Dennis Hinds, raised only $5,100.

Robinson earned 47% of the vote. Williams placed second at 22%, followed by Tisdol at 21% and Hinds at 10%.

The district spans Broward and Miami-Dade counties, covering parts of Pembroke Pines and Miami Gardens.

House District 107

Christopher Benjamin topped Ulysses “Buck” Harvard for the HD 107 seat, replacing term-limited Democratic Rep. Barbara Watson.

Benjamin defeated Harvard 61%-39%.

Despite the chance to secure an open seat, Benjamin and Harvard were the only two candidates who qualified for the contest. The race also attracted some of the lowest fundraising totals in the region.

Benjamin was the better fundraiser of the two, adding more than $62,000 in outside cash, plus another $1,000 in loans as of July 31. More than $23,000 of that outside cash came in the campaign’s final 13 days, allowing Benjamin to up his spending late in the game.

Harvard managed to court less than $18,000.

Benjamin is a lawyer, while Harvard is a former Miami Gardens Council member. The district covers areas in Miami-Dade County such as Miami Gardens and Golden Glades.

House District 108

Democratic Rep. Dotie Joseph is now two-for-two in her matchups with Democrat Roy Hardemon. Joseph ousted the incumbent Hardemon in the 2018 primary and prevailed once again Tuesday as Hardemon sought to reclaim the HD 108 seat.

Psychotherapist Georges Bossous Jr. also sought the nomination.

Joseph earned 57% of the vote to 31% for Hardemon. Bossous collected just 12% of the vote.

Despite his experience in the district, Hardemon failed to put up much of a fight in terms of fundraising. He raised just over $6,300 as compared to more than $200,000 for Joseph. Bossous collected just over double Hardemon’s total as well, as he approached $13,000 raised.

House District 117

Kevin Chambliss is likely to succeed House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee in HD 117, with McGhee being term-limited out of office.

Chambliss was one of three candidates to pursue the seat. With all precincts reporting, he’s narrowly ahead of former teacher Jessica Laguerre Hylton 37.6%-36.5%. Just 211 votes separate the top two.

Minister Harold Ford earned just 26% support for a third-place finish.

Chambliss was the best fundraiser in the contest. He also earned the most party support, securing endorsements from Democratic U.S. Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala.

That’s in part due to Chambliss previously working for both members of Congress, as well as a spate of other South Florida politicians. His most recent gig was as a community liaison for Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss. Chambliss also worked on Joe Garcia‘s 2012 congressional campaign.

Hylton is a former teacher who founded a nonprofit to help young Black girls become business owners. She joined the race late, just ahead of the state’s June 12 qualifying deadline.

This is Ford’s second time seeking the HD 117 seat after he ran in 2012. He lost to McGhee that year, who went on to represent the district for eight years.

HD 117 runs through southern portions of Miami-Dade County including Florida City and Naranja.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


2 comments

  • Olivia Pope

    August 18, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    oh no! Manley and shaw loss?? The hell?! I can see manley losing with a closer total, but shaw? damn!

  • Just sayin'

    August 19, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Hardemon is the least intelligent politician I’ve ever worked with in my twenty years in Tallahassee. The voters did the right thing.

Comments are closed.


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