Florida Competition

Now that national redistricting is set for at least the 2022 election, we see that the two most important states for the respective major political parties are Illinois for the Democrats and Florida for the GOP.

Only in these two places can both entities reasonably expect to gain multiple seats exclusively through the redistricting process.

Since court rulings have at least temporarily settled the boundary controversies in several states for the short term, the two parties have the opportunity of reaping single seat gains in as many as 21 states beyond Florida and Illinois. Therefore, it is conceivable that as many as 28 seats could change hands through redistricting, likely producing a net single-digit gain for Republicans.

Turning our attention to the Florida map, the numbers suggest Republicans could net a gain of four seats, if the political climate fully breaks their way. We will have a better foundation from which to predict the November outcome once nominees become known in the state’s late August 23rd primary.

Though a pair incumbents are seeing major geographic change coming to their new districts, meaning GOP Reps. Dan Webster (R-Clermont) and Scott Franklin (R-Lakeland) in addition to the open 10th Democratic district, no party change will occur in any of these places.

Rep. Webster only sees 35% of his current constituency remaining in his strongly Republican new 11th District, and he faces only minor GOP primary opposition.

Rep. Franklin is moving to the safe Republican 18th District, but with only a constituent carryover factor of 17% from his current 15th CD. He has drawn four Republican opponents, but no one individual appears strong enough to deny Mr. Franklin the party nomination.

Departing Rep. Val Demings’ Orlando anchored 10th CD has a constituent consistency factor of just 45%, but the new seat is still overwhelmingly Democratic. Therefore, whichever of the ten Democrats claims the party nomination, including former US Rep. Alan Grayson, will win the seat in November.

At this point, below are the isolated ten races of note:

Candidate list source: Politics1.com

District 1

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach)

General Election Rating: Safe R

538 Rating: R+38

Dave’s Redistricting App Partisan Lean: 67.6% R - 30.1% D

Carryover from Current CD 1 to New CD 1: 100%


Rep. Matt Gaetz (R)

Mark Lombardo (R) - Ex-Federal Express Executive

Greg Merk (R) - Military Test Pilot

Rebekah Jones (D) - Ex-Florida Health Department Analyst

Peggy Schiller (D) - Attorney

In such a strong Republican seat with 100% constituent carryover from the current 1st District to the new configuration, the only battle for Rep. Gaetz lies in the Republican primary. While it appears his current controversies are not enough to deny him re-nomination, the Republicans would hold the seat in November even if the Congressman were to suffer an upset loss in the primary.

District 2

Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Panama City)

Rep. Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

General Election Rating: Likely R - Inter-Party Pairing

538 Rating: R+16

Dave’s Redistricting App Partisan Lean: 54.5% R - 43.8% D

Carryover from Current CD 2 to New CD 2: 64%

Carryover from Current CD 5 to New CD 2: 31%


Rep. Dunn (R)

Rep. Lawson (D)

The Florida redistricting plan at least inadvertently created the only inter-party incumbent pairing in the country. When Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) wanted to challenge the Voting Rights Act by dividing a majority minority seat, Rep. Al Lawson was left without a favorable place to run. Instead of taking the new open 4th District in the Jacksonville area that includes 45% of his current constituency, Mr. Lawson decided to stay with his Tallahassee home base and challenge GOP Rep. Neal Dunn, even though the new 2nd District substantially favors the Republicans.

While clear that Rep. Lawson will make this race more competitive than one would expect when examining the new district’s voting trend figures, Rep. Dunn still holds the inside track and is favored to win the seat in November.

District 4

Created Open Seat

General Election Rating: Likely R

538 Rating: R+15

Dave’s Redistricting App Partisan Lean: 54.3% R - 44.0% D


Erick Aguilar (R) - College Professor

Aaron Bean (R) - State Senate President Pro Tempore

Jon Chuba (R) - Insurance Company Executive

Tony Hill (D) - Ex-State Senator & Representative

LaShonda Holloway (D) - Businesswoman

The 4th is the newly created Jacksonville seat that Republicans will be favored to add to their delegation. State Senate President Pro Tempore Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) is at least a nominal favorite to win the August 23rd Republican primary, but college professor Erick Aguilar, who has compiled more than $1 million for the campaign and is striving to capture the Trump base, could do better than expected. The Democrats will likely field former state Senator Tony Hill for the general election.

Unless the Republicans’ political fortunes somehow take a dive between now and Election Day, the eventual Republican nominee looks to have a decided advantage toward winning the seat.

District 7

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D) - Retiring - Open Seat

General Election Rating: Lean R

538 Rating: R+14

Dave’s Redistricting App Partisan Lean: 52.6% R - 44.8% D

Carryover from Current CD 7 to New CD 7: 61%


Ericka Benfield (R) - Former Local Official

Brady Duke (R) - Pastor

Ted Edwards (R) - Orange County Commissioner

Cory Mills (R) - Businessman

Rusty Roberts (R) - Former Lobbyist

Anthony Sabatini (R) - State Representative

Al Santos (R) - Businessman

Scott Sturgill (R) - Businessman

Tatiana Fernandez (D) - Businesswoman

Karen Green (D) - Vice Chair, Florida Democratic Party

Al Krulick (D) - Teacher

Rep. Murphy’s decision to retire after three terms makes this open seat a prime Republican conversion opportunity. With the district moving from a D+5 rating to a R+14, the 19 point swing in an open seat configuration should give the eventual Republican nominee all he or she needs to win in November. The 7th is a critical point race for the GOP’s Florida strategy.

Money is flowing in this race, as Pastor Duke, Mr. Mills, and Rep. Sabatini all posted substantial early fundraising totals through the end of March. No Democratic candidate had even filed a report during the first quarter. With second quarter totals due next week, we will soon have a better picture of the situation here and in the other competitive districts around the state and country.

District 13

Rep. Charlie Crist (D) - Running for Governor - Open Seat

General Election Rating: Lean R

538 Rating: R+12

Dave’s Redistricting App Partisan Lean: 52.5% R - 45.1% D

Carryover from Current CD 13 to New CD 13: 70%


Kevin Hayslett (R) - Attorney

Moneer Kheireddine (R) - Freelance Writer

Anna Paulina Luna (R) - Businesswoman; 2020 Nominee

Amanda Makki* (R) - Attorney; 2020 Candidate

Christine Quinn (R) - Businesswoman

Eric Lynn (D) - Former US Defense Dept. Official

Frank Craft (Libertarian) - Florist

Rep. Crist leaving this seat to again run for Governor added to a more favorable redistricting draw that sees an 11 point swing in Republicans favor, the eventual GOP nominee will be in strong position to covert this seat in November. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Anna Paulina Luna, who was the 2020 nominee, is back this year and must repel strong challenges from 2020 second place finisher Amanda Makki and attorney Kevin Hayslett in order to have another chance at winning the general election. Controversy surrounds Ms. Luna, so it’s unclear just how this primary will unfold in the closing days.

Democrats likely lost their strongest candidate when state Rep. Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg) dropped out of the race once the new redistricting map was adopted even though he had already raised well over $1.2 million. Ex-Defense Department official Eric Lynn had also raised an early $1 million, so he is in position to become a formidable Democratic general election candidate despite the voting trends now moving against his party.

District 15

New Seat

General Election Rating: Lean R

538 Rating: R+7

Dave’s Redistricting App Partisan Lean: 51.2% R - 46.6% D

Carryover from Current CD 15 to New CD 15: 45%

Carryover from Current CD 14 to New CD 15: 35%

Carryover from Current CD 12 to New CD 15: 20%

Candidates: Demetrius Grimes (R) - Retired Navy Officer

Laurel Lee (R) - Ex-Florida Secretary of State

Kevin McGovern (R) - Retired Navy Officer

Kelli Stargell (R) - State Senator; Former State Representative

Jackie Toledo (R) - State Representative

Gavin Brown (D) - Political Consultant

Alan Cohn (D) - Ex-Television News Anchor; 2020 Nominee

Eddie Gellar (D) - Video Producer

Cesar Ramirez (D) - Bank Official

Bill Van Horn (D) - Retired Postal Worker

The state’s new seat earned in reapportionment has become District 15, sitting largely in Hillsborough County just east of Tampa and including most of the city of Lakeland. The seat has attracted a large number of candidates on both sides. The voting trends favor Republicans, but a strong Democratic nominee would still hold the outside possibility of scoring an upset.

Republicans have the stronger field of candidates, and the GOP winner will be favored in November. This Republican must-win open seat is a race to watch in the Autumn.

District 20

Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D)

General Election Rating: Safe D

538 Rating: D+49

Dave’s Redistricting App Partisan Lean: 21.2% R - 77.9% D

Carryover from Current CD 20 to New CD 20: 73%


Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D)

Dale Holness (D) - Ex-Broward County Commissioner

Anika Omfroy (D) - State Representative

Drew Montez Clark (R) - Businessman

Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick won the special election to succeed the late Rep. Alcee Hastings (D) in this heavily Democratic South Florida seat. She claimed the Democratic nomination by a margin of just five votes over then-Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness. He returns for another chance at winning the primary, but the going will be tougher now that Ms. Cherfilus-McCormick is the incumbent. The addition of state Rep. Anika Omfroy (D-Lauderdale Lakes) certainly complicates matters even further for Mr. Holness. The Democratic nominee easily wins the seat in November. At this point, the new Congresswoman looks to have the inside track to win the party nomination in more convincing fashion.

District 23

Rep. Ted Deutch (D) - Retiring - Open Seat

General Election Rating: Likely D

538 Rating: D+9

Dave’s Redistricting App Partisan Lean: 42.3% R - 56.5% D

Carryover from Current CD 22 to New CD 23: 89%


Joe Budd (R) - Financial Advisor

Darlene Cerezo-Swaffar (R) - Insurance Agency Owner

Steve Chess (R) - Chiropractor

Christy McLaughlin (R) - Law School Graduate

Myles Perone (R) - Contractor

Jim Pruden (R) - Attorney

Ira Weinstein (R) - Retired Attorney

Allen Ellison (D) - Corporate Development Consultant

Micaelangelo Hamilton (D) - Sole Proprietor

Hava Holzhauer (D) - Attorney

Jared Moskowitz (D) - Broward County Commissioner

Ben Sorensen (D) - Ft. Lauderdale City Commissioner

Mike Trout (D) - Musician

Mark Napier (Independent) - Ex-CIA Officer

Christine Scott (Independent) - Sole Proprietor

Rep. Deutch resigning from the House likely in October leaves a crowded field of Democrats vying to succeed him. With the district voting trends clearly favoring the Democrats, the party nominee will enjoy a strong favorite’s position. Broward County Commissioner Moskowitz appears to have the early edge in the Democratic primary. Though Rep. Deutch will not complete the full term, it is unlikely a special election will be called to fill the short time that will remain on the current term when he actually leaves the House.

District 27

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar* (R)

General Election Rating: Lean R

538 Rating: D+1

Dave’s Redistricting App Partisan Lean: 46.4% R - 52.4% D

Carryover from Current CD 27 to New CD 27: 82%


Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) 

Frank Polo (R) - Businessman

Angel Montalvo (D) - IT Professional

Ken Russell (D) - Miami City Commissioner

Annette Taddeo (D) - State Senator; Frequent Statewide Candidate

Freshman Rep. Salazar defeated then-Representative and former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala (D) in 2020. The Miami anchored district is now three points better for her in this election, but still tilts slightly toward the Democrats. The party primary will feature a tough battle between state Senator Annette Taddeo, who has lost several statewide races, and Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell. Rep. Salazar should have the upper hand in the general election assuming the national and state political climate remains favorable for Republicans in South Florida.

District 28

Rep. Carlos Gimenez* (R)

General Election Rating: Lean R

538 Rating: R+4

Dave’s Redistricting App Partisan Lean: 47.6% R - 51.0% D

Carryover from Current CD 26 to New CD 28: 93%


Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R) 

Carlos Garin (R) - Actor

K.W. Miller (R) - Trump Campaign Activist

Robert Asencio (D) - Ex-State Representative

Juan Paredes (D) - Computer Programmer

Freshman Rep. Gimenez, the former Miami-Dade County Mayor, sees the new 28th District substantially improve his re-election prospects. He will have little problem in the primary, and becomes a strong favorite in the general election. Democrats failed to recruit one of their stronger candidate prospects.

* denotes the candidate has received an AGC PAC contribution during the 2021-2022 election cycle. 

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