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Primaries: No surprises in Arizona, upset in Florida

by Harvest Prude
Posted 8/29/18, 12:31 pm

In primary elections Tuesday, Republican voters tapped a handful of establishment choices, while a Democrat in Florida pulled off an upset that threatens to swing the party farther left.

In Arizona, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally fended off two anti-establishment challengers to nab the GOP nomination to replace retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. She will face the Democratic nominee, U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, in November’s general election. The winner will become the first female U.S. senator from Arizona. Flipping Flake’s seat is crucial to Democrats, as they attempt to win a majority in the Senate or maintain a moderate division. There are 35 seats on the ballot in 2018, but only nine are currently held by Republicans.

In the Arizona governor’s race, incumbent Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who is tasked with picking a successor to the late Sen. John McCain, easily won the GOP nomination Tuesday but will face a tough fight against the Democratic nominee, David Garcia, a liberal professor.

In Florida, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum defeated former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. A last-minute endorsement by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, helped the liberal Gillum win in an upset. If elected, Gillum would be Florida’s first African-American governor. In November he will battle the GOP nominee, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who has President Donald Trump’s endorsement.

Current Florida Gov. Rick Scott earned his spot on the November ballot as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, where he will challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson.

In Oklahoma, voters tapped conservative businessman Kevin Stitt in the Republican primary runoff for governor. Neither Stitt nor his GOP opponent, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, earned a majority of the vote in the June primary, prompting the rematch. Stitt will face the Democratic nominee, former state Attorney General Drew Edmondson, in November.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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