Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam certified Florida's official primary results Thursday, following manual recounts in three close races. The action took place in a brief phone call chaired by Secretary of State Ken Detzner, the state's chief elections official. While waiting for Bondi to join the call, Scott, on the phone from Tallahassee, and Putnam, from Miami, chatted about aerial spraying to combat the spread of Zika in Miami Beach.
The statewide primary turnout was just short of 24 percent, higher than usual but predictably low for a Florida primary. Detzner told reporters he's predicting a turnout of 80 percent or greater for the Nov. 8 general election.
"We could expect as much as an 80 percent turnout and set a record," Detzner said. "I think the highest number in the state of Florida was in 1992 when it was 82 percent. I'm looking for a very large turnout, and it's fortunate in Florida that we have many options for voters." (The state elections website says the turnout in 1992 was a record 83 percent).
Now, a couple of loose ends from the election results.
Amendment 4, with a property tax break for businesses that install solar devices, passed in every county except one, Desoto, where it lost by a few hundred votes.
Which state legislative candidates won with the fewest votes? Both were in Miami-Dade in crowded races in a county with low turnouts.
Former U.S. Rep. David Rivera won a five-way Republican primary for a state House seat with 3,198 votes and faces Democrat Robert Ascencio in November. Rivera's friend, Democratic Rep. Daphne Campbell, clinched a Miami-Dade state Senate seat with a paltry 9,017 votes, defeating five Democratic opponents. To put that number in perspective, Rep. Charlie Stone, R-Ocala, running in a district one-third the size of Campbell's Senate district, received more than 20,000 votes against a weak challenger.
Here's a rarity. Who lost twice on the same ballot? That would be Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, who failed in her bids for Nassau County school superintendent and in her countywide race for Republican state committeewoman.