TALLAHASSEE — State Sen. John Thrasher, who splits his time as chairman of the state Republican Party, is advancing to the general election.
Thrasher, 66, had little trouble winning his Jacksonville-area Republican primary race Tuesday, defeating political novice Charles Perniciaro.
Former Jacksonville television news anchor Deborah Gianoulis was unopposed in the Democratic primary and will face Thrasher in the Nov. 2 election.
Thrasher replaced disgraced GOP chairman Jim Greer in February over a financial scandal that led to Greer's indictment on charges he ran a scam to bilk the party.
The only other Senate incumbent facing a primary challenge, Thad Altman of Viera, also won handily on Tuesday.
For the Florida House, incumbent state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda overcame a pair of controversial pro-drilling votes to easily win a Democratic primary race.
The first-term lawmaker from Tallahassee crushed former Leon County Democratic Party chairman Rick Minor, receiving about two-thirds of the vote.
Minor got into the race a year ago after Vasilinda — representing a largely liberal House district that includes the state Capitol and rural Jefferson and Gadsden counties — cast votes that would allow drilling for oil in state waters.
But Vasilinda was virtually everywhere in her district to defend the votes and benefited from an effective television and billboard campaign.