South Florida congressional incumbents stave off challenges, advance to November election

There was little at stake in these races Tuesday.

Several South Florida congressional contests on the ballot Tuesday featured little to no drama. Here’s a look at how some of those races ended, and how November’s General Election contests are not shaping up.

Florida’s 21st Congressional District

Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, coasted to victory, as expected. According to Tuesday’s unofficial results, Mast earned 78% of the vote. His next closest competitor was Jeff Buongiorno with just over 12%, followed by Melissa Martz at 8.5% and Ljubo Skrbic at 1%.

Mast will take on Democratic candidate Corinna Balderramos Robinson, who was unopposed on the Democratic side. Expect Mast to be the favorite, however. Republican Donald Trump carried the district by nearly 10 points in 2020 over then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden, and Republican Ron DeSantis also defeated 2018 democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum by nearly 7 points.

Florida’s 22nd Congressional District

The Republican Primary here appears to be in recount territory. According to Tuesday’s unofficial results, Dan Franzese sits at 34.66%, followed by Deborah Adeimy at 34.28%. In raw votes, Franzese leads 11,600 to 11,457, a difference of just 133 votes out of more than 34,000 cast.

An automatic machine recount is triggered if candidates are within 0.5 percentage points.

Rod Dorilás is at third in the five-person race at 19%, followed by Peter Steven Arianas at just over 6% and Carrie Lawlor at just under 6%.

But while there is drama here on the GOP side, the winner will be a major underdog against Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel. Biden won the region by 17.5 points last cycle.

Florida’s 24th Congressional District

Democratic U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson easily dispatched Democratic Primary challenger Kevin Harris Tuesday. Per Tuesday’s unofficial results, Wilson led 89% to 11%.

On the GOP side, Jesus Navarro dispatched Lavern Spicer 65%-35%. Wilson will likely easily secure re-election in November, however. This is one of the most lopsided congressional districts in the state, with Biden securing 74% of the vote in 2020, compared to just 25% for Trump.

Florida’s 25th Congressional District

Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz likewise faced a Primary challenge. Like Wilson, she easily won. Wasserman Schultz defeated Robert Millwee 89%-11%, according to Tuesday’s unofficial results.

In the Republican Primary, Carla Spalding defeated Rubion Young 72%-28%. Expect a win from Wasserman Schultz in the fall. This district broke for Biden by nearly 20 points in 2020.

Florida’s 26th Congressional District

Republican U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart came out on top amid a Primary challenge, securing 90% of the vote against Darren Aquino, according to Tuesday’s unofficial results.

Díaz-Balart appears to be on his way to another November win, as he faces Democratic candidate Christine Alexandria Olivo. Trump took the district by more than 18 points last cycle.

Florida’s 28th Congressional District

In CD 28, U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez, sat at 73% support according to the unofficial tally. That was well ahead of Carlos Garin at 15% and Karl K.W. Miller at 11%.

On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Robert Asencio secured the right to challenge Giménez in the fall. Asencio defeated Juan Paredes 69%-31%.

This is the only race of the above batch that has a glimmer of competitiveness to it. While Trump won the area by more than 6 points in 2020, Gillum actually topped DeSantis here by more than 6 points in 2018.

It’s unclear if the 2020 result is due to a permanent shift toward the GOP, or whether the district remains swingy. But if Republicans do end up riding a red wave, that will likely be enough to shepherd in the incumbent Giménez for a second term.

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].


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