Rep. Alex Andrade has shut out his Republican challengers in House District 2.
The Pensacola Republican seeking his third term in the House, defeated Air Force veteran Jordan Karr and retired Major League Baseball second baseman Greg Litton during Tuesday’s Primary Election. Andrade is on pace to receive 66% of the GOP vote, setting him up to face Democrat Carollyn Rabeca Taylor in November.
“I’m excited to finally focus on what’s actually important, keeping Florida on the track that’s made it so successful these past several years,” Andrade said in a statement to Florida Politics. “I’m grateful for the overwhelming support of my district, for the third time in a Republican Primary in five years.”
Andrade, a lawyer by trade, is endorsed by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a right-wing standard-bearer who now finds himself on the fringe of the GOP. Florida House Speaker-designate Paul Renner has also endorsed Andrade, who House leadership recently entrusted with legislation to nix Disney’s exception to social media platform requirements during the GOP’s battle with the entertainment giant.
On top of the Disney carve-out, Andrade-sponsored bills the last two years include measures banning forced vaccinations and providing benefits to families of military servicemen and women killed while in service.
Andrade in the past has been considered as a possible successor to Gaetz in Congress, though he brushed off speculation last year when many pondered if the Congressman would leave early and open the seat.
This year’s HD 2 Primary race is nothing like Andrade’s first re-election in 2020. That year, he faced a bitter Primary against Cris Dosev, a Marine veteran and Gaetz critic who tried to campaign on loyalty to then-President Donald Trump. However, the biographies of Andrade’s 2022 rivals were nothing to scoff at.
Karr is a former Air Force security officer who is suing the Defense Department after she was discharged for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. She ran a campaign around individual liberties and the obligation she said states have to nullify unconstitutional federal laws. Her campaign website also says the 2020 elections were “unconstitutional” and calls for a 2020 election audit.
Litton played four seasons with the San Francisco Giants, and one season each with the Seattle Mariners and the Boston Red Sox. He holds the distinction of having played all nine positions on the field. However, his career highlight may have been his home run hit during the 1989 World Series in his rookie year, a feat he touts on his campaign website.
Litton, now a loan officer at Primary Residential Mortgage, focused his campaign on countering increased utility rates in the Panhandle brought by Florida Power and Light.
Taylor, a cannabis industry professional and Democratic organizer, will be Andrade’s General Election competition. Taylor’s wife is a Navy veteran, and advocating for the military and veterans remains central to her platform.
HD 2, which covers coastal Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, is a safe seat for Republicans.