A rough ride for 'retreads' in legislative races
Tuesday's primary election saw a bumper crop of former legislators seeking comebacks, most of them forced out by term limits. Some "retreads" did better than others:
Alex Diaz de la Portilla, the ex-Senate majority leader from Miami, easily defeated ex-Rep. Gus Barriero to win the GOP nomination in House District 112. But his brother, Renier Diaz de la Portilla, faltered and finished a distant second in a primary for another Miami-Dade seat. A DLP dynasty will have to wait.
The dominoes didn't fall right for former Rep. Carl Domino of Jupiter. He saw his comeback chances dashed in a loss to Tea Party favorite MaryLynn Magar of Tequesta in the Treasure Coast's House District 82. Another T-Coastie, former Democratic Rep. Adam Fetterman, lost to Larry Lee Jr. in House District 84.
In Southwest Florida's House District 76, ex-Rep. Michael Grant, a Port Charlotte Republican, finished a distant second to long-time GOP activist Ray Rodrigues. But former Rep. Frank Farkas of St. Petersburg cruised to a nomination win in District 68 in Pinellas, while former Rep. Kevin Rader, a Democrat, won his party's nod in Palm Beach County's District 81, knocking off one-term incumbent Rep. Steve Perman.
A close one: Former Rep. Randy Johnson of Sebring is in a neck-and-neck race for a rural inland seat (House District 55). In unofficial returns, Johnson trails fellow Republican Cary Pigman by 26 votes of nearly 12,000 cast. That would definitely require a recount under state election law.