Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Most incumbent Florida legislators survive challenges

Incumbents escaped nearly unscathed in Florida's legislative races Tuesday, although state Rep. Chris Dorworth, slated to become House speaker in two years, was in the fight of his political life.

A Lake Mary Republican haunted by personal and financial issues, Dorworth trailed Democratic challenger Mike Clelland. With nearly 80 percent of the vote counted, Clelland clung to a small lead.

Incumbents led in virtually all other legislative races.

Democrats had hoped to pick up the needed seats to slow down what has been a runaway GOP Legislature in recent years. Republicans went into the election controlling the Senate by a 28-12 margin and had 81 of the 120 seats in the House of Representatives.

Democrats would remain procedurally powerless if the GOP retained its two-third advantages in both legislative bodies.

Former Democratic House Speaker Tom Gustafson from Fort Lauderdale fell short in his bid for a return to the Capitol after an absence of 22 years.

Gustafson, who served as speaker in 1989-90, trailed first-term Republican Rep. Bill Hager of Boca Raton with 95 percent of the vote counted. Hager had received 52.4 percent of the vote to Gustafson's 47.6 percent.

Democrat Maria Sachs led Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff in a matchup of incumbents forced into a showdown in a redrawn district in Broward County. With 89 percent of the vote counted, Sachs had received 53.1 percent Bogdanoff 46.9 percent.

Former state Rep. Aaron Bean, a Republican, defeated Democrat Nancy Soderberg, who served in the Clinton administration and was an ambassador to the United Nations. With 96 percent of the vote counted, Bean had 62.3 percent to Soderberg's 37.7 percent.

Ten of Florida's 40-seat Senate and 45 of the 120 House seats were settled before Election Day.

Most incumbent Florida legislators survive challenges 11/06/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 11:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. JFK's last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht


    It has been 100 years since John F. Kennedy's birth on May 29, 1917, at his parents' home in Brookline, Mass., just outside Boston. Over the course of his life, Kennedy enjoyed lavish birthday celebrations, the most famous being a Democratic fundraising bash at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962, when a sequined …

    President John F. Kennedy aboard the Sequoia in 1963 opening birthday presents. [Robert Knudsen | John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum]
  2. 1 in 4 Florida adults aren't registered to vote, according to non-partisan group


    TALLAHASSEE — Five million people in Florida who are eligible to vote aren't registered, according to a nationwide non-partisan group that helps improve the accuracy of state voter rolls.

    Voters line up in front of the Coliseum Ballroom in St. Petersburg on Nov. 8. A non-partisan group estimates that more than a quarter of Florida's adult-age population isn't registered to vote. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Rays morning after: A lot that went into a marathon win


    Rays manager Kevin Cash had a simple strategy when Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry asked him how the team would move on from Sunday's marathon win and get ready to face the Rangers tonight in Texas:

    Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.
  4. Navy parachutist dies during demonstration over Hudson River


    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, a Navy Seal team member fell to his death Sunday after his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the Hudson River.

    Officials surround a U.S. Navy Seal's parachute that landed in a parking lot after the parachutist fell into the Hudson River when his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the river in Jersey City, N.J. The Navy said the parachutist was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center. [Joe Shine | Jersey Journal via AP]
  5. As White House defends Jared Kushner, experts question his alleged back-channel move


    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration argued over the weekend that back-channel communications are acceptable in building dialogue with foreign governments, part of an effort to minimize fallout over White House adviser Jared Kushner's reported discussion about creating a secret conduit to the Kremlin at a Russian …

    President-elect Donald Trump embraces son in law Jared Kushner, as his daughter Ivanka Trump stands nearby, after his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of Nov. 9. [Mark Wilson | Getty Images]