The 2022 Florida General Election is complete. A Republican wave swept the state from the top of the ballot to the bottom. Republicans control the Governorship and Cabinet seats – all winning by a 20% margin — and strengthened their majorities in the Legislature. One House race HD106 could be headed to a recount. Below is our report based on preliminary results. General election results will be certified by the Secretary of State/Division of Elections by November 22 when the Legislature will hold its Organizational Session to swear in members and presiding officers.
Incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis (R) faced off against current Congressman and former Governor Charlie Crist (D). Governor DeSantis won reelection by a 20% margin. This is the largest general election victory in a governor’s race since Jeb Bush won reelection in 2002. The DeSantis will govern with a mandate and ride this wave into a special session in December focused on property insurance market reforms.
Attorney General: Incumbent Ashley Moody (R) also won reelection against former Orlando area State Attorney Aramis Ayala (D). Ayala achieved notoriety for refusing to request the death penalty an any cases prosecuted by her office. Governor Rick Scott reassigned Ayala’s potential death penalty cases to other prosecutors. General Moody cruised to victory by a 20% margin.
Chief Financial Officer: Incumbent CFO Jimmy Patronis (R) also won reelection against former Representative Adam Hattersley (D) by a margin of 20%. The CFO presides over the Department of Financial Services (“DFS”), which has authority over Agent Licensing, Rehab & Liquidation, Consumer Services and Unclaimed Property. The CFO sits on the Financial Services Commission, along with the Governor, Agriculture Commissioner and A.G. The FSC has ultimate authority over OIR rules. When the FSC votes to select a new Insurance Commissioner, both the Governor and CFO must be on the prevailing side of the vote.
Agriculture Commissioner: The only statewide seat that didn’t have an incumbent running for reelection was the Commissioner of Agriculture. Outgoing Senate President Wilton Simpson (R) beat his democrat challenger Naomi Esther Blemur (D) by a margin of 20%. Simpson has deep roots in the agriculture community as an egg farmer and will take the reins from outgoing Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), a former marijuana lobbyist.
State Legislative Races:
Republicans retained their majority in the Legislature in both Chambers, increasing their margin to a veto-proof two-thirds majority.
Senate: Republicans will control the Senate by a 28-12 margin, lead by incoming President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples). The Senate only had three truly contested races — one was an open seat while the other two seats featured incumbents trying to hang on. All three races were for districts that previously performed with a democrat turn out advantage of +3. With a historic Republican turnout, all three of the contested districts switched to Republican. Republicans winning all three seats creates a super majority in the senate, which hasn’t existed for over a decade.
Republican Senate pickups:
- Incumbent Sen. Loranne Ausley (D) defeated by Corey Simon (R):
- Incumbent Sen. Janet Cruz (D) defeated by Jay Collins (R):
- Open seat: Janelle Perez (D) defeated by Alexis Maria Calatayud (R)
House: Going into the election, Republicans controlled the House by 76 to 42 with 2 vacancies.
As it stands on Wednesday, it appears that Republicans won 85 seats, with Democrats holding only 35 seats. Incoming House Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) will lead the Chamber. One House seat – HD105 – appears to be headed for a recount. Races within ½ of 1% or less of the total votes cast, are to be machine recounted:
- House, District 106
- Fabián Basabe REP 26,391 50.22%
- Jordan W. Leonard DEM 26,155 49.78%