In an upset, she beat incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland in a GOP-leaning district in 2014, but decided not to run for re-election after the Legislature redrew her district to make it more firmly Republican.
She is a moderate Democrat who has had to withstand criticism from Democratic opponents for voting for the Keystone XL Pipeline and siding with Republicans on changes to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
Levine used the enormous wealth he built through a company that provided media to the cruise industry to build his name recognition. He aired 30 different television ads, ranging from calls for gun safety to a call to clean up Lake Okeechobee and prevent algae blooms. He called for an expansion of gambling and said his mix of political and business experience made him equipped to govern the state. As mayor, he helped decriminalize marijuana, tried to raise the minimum wage in Miami Beach and pushed to fight climate change.
Greene made his fortune in real estate and spent close to $30 million to try and win office in 2010, only to lose a U. S. Senate primary to Kendrick Meek. He tried to use the Democrats’ dislike of Trump in the primary even though he was until recently a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club. He also made education a key issue.
Gillum is favored by many Democrats who call themselves progressives, earning the endorsement of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. He proposed raising corporate income taxes to the level they were cut by a bill Trump signed into law, and pointed out that he fought the National Rifle Association as Tallahassee’s mayor.
King spent more than $4 million on his campaign, but consistently trailed in polls.
In other races, state Rep. Matt Caldwell, state Sen. Denise Grimsley, former state Rep. Baxter Troutman and former Army Col. Mike McCalister are vying for the Cabinet seat Putnam is leaving because of term limits. The Democratic primary is a contest between Homestead Mayor Jeffrey Porter, lobbyist Nikki Fried and environmentalist Roy Walker.
State Rep. Sean Shaw, the son of a former Supreme Court justice, is facing Tampa lawyer Ryan Torrens for the Democratic nomination for attorney general. The Republican primary pits state Rep. Frank White against former judge Ashley Moody. Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi is leaving office due to term limits.
In congressional races, four incumbent members of Congress are leaving their seats, setting up primaries to replace them, and three incumbents — Republican Matt Gaetz and Democrats Al Lawson and Darren Soto — face serious challenges from within their own parties.