At the state level, the big news is that the Democrats have gained five state house seats and two state senate seats, breaking the Republicans’ supermajority in both. The Republicans still have a 26-14 majority in the state senate with Maria Sach’s and Darren Soto’s victories. The Democrats’ victory in the Florida house has reduced the Republican control to 76-44. The Democrats have gained five state house seats and two state senate seats, breaking the Republicans’ supermajority in both.
Some other significant features of last week’s election include:
- Republican Chris Dorworth, who had been slated to become Speaker of the Florida House, lost to Democratic challenger Mike Clelland by 146 votes.
- Alachua County had a 73% turnout of registered voters. While this was down from 2008’s 81% turnout, there were nearly 10,000 more voters registered in the county.
- Alachua County remains a “blue dot in a sea of red”.
- President Obama received 58% of the Alachua County vote, which is slightly down from his 60% in 2008.
- Senator Bill Nelson and President Obama won very decisively in Alachua County.
- In US Congressional District 3, J.R. Gaillot lost to Ted Yoho, 65% to 35%. The recently-redrawn boundaries for congressional districts ensured that Republicans would retain a lock on District 3, so the national Democratic Party did not contribute any money to support Gaillot’s campaign. Yoho, a Tea Party favorite, will replace Cliff Stearns, who has served in Congress for 24 years.
- In Florida House District 21, Andrew Morey lost to incumbent Keith Perry, 55% to 45%.
- Supporters of higher education were also elected. Mike Byerly, Chuck Chestnut, and Hutch Hutchinson were elected to the Alachua County Commission and Leanetta McNeally was elected to the Alachua County School Board.