went to the polls Tuesday to choose the Democrats who will take on powerful Republicans Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio, while some of the nastiest will finally be decided.
The battle over New York’s new congressional maps caused the primaries for U.S. House and state Senate to be pushed back until August. The final version of the map put several incumbents in the same districts.
The most notable is in New York City, where the Upper West Side and Upper East Side were joined into one district, pitting two members of Congress with 30 years experience each against each other, Reps.and Jerrold Nadler.
The two powerful Democrats have extremely similar voting records, which has turned the race into a nasty personality battle. Also on the ballot in the district is 38-year-old Suraj Patel, a former Obama administration official hoping to bank on younger votes in the district.
Nadler’s longtime district, NY-10, had snaked from where he lived on the Upper West Side through Manhattan and a huge chunk in Brooklyn. He chose not to run in the redrawn district, which has more conventional boundaries in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn but excludes his home neighborhood. Instead, he’s facing Maloney in NY-12.
That left NY-10 as a rare open seat in New York City, leading to a crowded primary that at one point even included former Mayor Bill de Blasio, although he has since dropped out. Polls show Dan Goldman, one of the Democrats’ impeachment lawyers, leading the pack.
Redistricting also led to another nasty battle in Hudson Valley, with current Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney, the chair of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, and Mondaire Jones living in the 17th District. Although Maloney currently represents the 18th District, one-third of his district is the new 17th – which is more friendly to Democrats than the new 18th District.
After Maloney announced he would be running in the 17th District, Jones resettled on the 10th District in Brooklyn. But Maloney picked up another challenger from the left, state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi.
In Florida, DeSantis and Rubio do not have primary challengers on Tuesday. Several Democrats are duking it out to take on the powerful Republicans. In the Democratic primary for governor, Rep. Charlie Crist, a former Republican who was governor from 2007 until 2011, and the state’s agricultural commissioner, Nikki Fried, are leading.
Crist has slammed Fried as not being able to take on DeSantis, while Fried has criticized Crist’s prior comments on abortion.
But neither has come close to raising as much money as DeSantis, who is sitting on a war chest of more than $160 million.
In the race to take on Rubio, Rep. Val Demings is the frontrunner. Although Rubio is the favorite to win in November, Demings, a former police chief who was discussed as a possible vice-presidential contender, has outraised Rubio by almost $11 million so far, and has spent $20 million more on advertisements than Rubio.
In the reverse of New York, Florida has also gained a congressional seat. DeSantis pushed hard for an aggressively gerrymandered map — even more so than the Republican-leaning map by Florida’s legislature, which he vetoed. Under his map, Republicans could gain as many as four seats, with Democratic-leaning seats in the 5th, 7th and 13th Districts likely to flip red, and a new version of the 15th District that is solidly Republican.
Florida’s courts were asked to throw out the map, after one state judge found the elimination of the 5th District unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court decided to not hear a challenge on the maps before the midterm elections.
See below for a list of Tuesday’s races and candidates, which will be updated with the winners.
Fritz Farrow and Sarah Ewall-Wice contributed to this report.