As we prepare for the 2020 elections, Yesh Ginsburg and Steen Kirby will give a general overview of all 435 United States House of Representatives races. This is a basic overview to introduce you to the major candidates. All Partisan Lean numbers are taken from the Cook Partisan Voting Index. We will update this page as the races progress if anything noteworthy arises.

Florida is too large a state to put all in one article. We will be splitting the Sunshine State’s 27 districts into three articles. This is one of the most even big states in the country, with 14 Republican districts and 13 Democratic ones. One article contains the first nine districts, which has six Republican districts and three Democratic ones. This second group of districts has the same split, while seven of the final group have Democrats.

Florida’s 10th Congressional District

Incumbent: Val Demings (Democratic, second term)

Partisan Lean: D+11

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Val Demings (D) 100

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Val Demings (D) 198,491 64.87
Thuy Lowe (R) 107,498 35.13

Republican Candidate:

Vennia Francois (campaign website)

Francois is a relatively moderate Republican who is spending a fair amount in this race. She is pushing to build the wall and fighting abortion. She is also calling to reform federal loans so as to decrease college tuitions.

Democratic Candidate:

Val Demings (campaign website)

Demings is a former police chief who was rumored to be a top choice as Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential pick. She is focusing on her law enforcement background and bridging racial and law enforcement divides, a very powerful issue at the current political moment. Don’t be confused by the lack of a vote total in 2018; Demings ran unopposed, and Florida doesn’t release the results of unopposed elections.

Florida’s 11th Congressional District

Incumbent: Daniel Webster (Republican, fifth* term)

Partisan Lean: R+15

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Daniel Webster (R) 258,016 65.36
Dave Koller (D) 124,713 31.6
Bruce Ray Riggs (None) 11,990 3.04

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Daniel Webster (R) 239,395 65.14
Dana Cottrell (D) 128,053 34.84

Republican Candidate:

Daniel Webster (campaign website)

Webster has been in Congress for five terms, though only in this district for two. After redistricting five years ago, he switched from the 10th District to the 11th. He is an average Republican running mostly on his conservative record and how he’s known in the district.

Democratic Candidate:

Dana Cottrell (campaign website)

Cottrell was more than doubled two years ago, but she’s trying again now. Her campaign is a group of general liberal ideas, and she isn’t campaigning too actively for this seat.

Florida’s 12th Congressional District

Incumbent: Gus Bilirakis (Republican, seventh term)

Partisan Lean: R+8

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Gus Bilirakis (R) 194,564 58.09
Chris Hunter (D) 132,844 39.68
Angelika Purkis (I) 7,510 2.23

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Gus Bilirakis (R) 253,559 68.59
Robert Tager (D) 116,110 31.41

Republican Candidate:

Gus Bilirakis (campaign website)

Bilirakis is a relatively moderate Republican. He favors general free market solution to healthcare and energy issues, but he also supports welfare safety nets and healthcare protections more than the average Republican. Bilirakis has President Trump front and center of his campaign site, though the President’s policies appear less on his platform than you would expect from that.

Democratic Candidate:

Kimberly Walker (campaign website)

Walker is a very liberal Democrat, supporting universal healthcare and wanting to end all federal subsidies for fossil fuels. She is not spending heavily in this expected non-competitive district.

Florida’s 13th Congressional District

Incumbent: Charlie Crist (Democratic, second term)

Partisan Lean: D+2

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Charlie Crist (D) 182,717 57.6
George Buck (R) 134,254 42.4

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Charlie Crist (D) 184,693 51.9
David Jolly (R) 171,149 48.1

Republican Candidate:

Anna Luna (campaign website)

Luna is a strong conservative Republican who came through a tight primary to try to take back this seat, long formerly held by David Jolly. Her hard-line conservatism is a far cry from Jolly’s much more moderate views. She is spending heavily, though, so she thinks she can try to swing this district back.

Democratic Candidate:

Charlie Crist (campaign website)

Crist is a centrist Democrat and former Republican Governor of Florida. He is facing a challenge far from his right in a left-moving district; he is also more than well-funded enough to fend off a challenge.

Florida’s 14th Congressional District

Incumbent: Kathy Castor (Democratic, seventh term)

Partisan Lean: D+7

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Kathy Castor (D) 100

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Kathy Castor (D) 195,789 61.79
Christine Quinn (R) 121,088 38.21

Republican Candidate:

Christine Quinn (campaign website)

Quinn is not spending heavily. She is a standard Republican, favoring free market solutions to healthy costs and school choice.

Democratic Candidate:

Kathy Castor (campaign website)

Castor is a somewhat moderate Democrat who favors moderate liberal responses to issues like education and the economy.

Florida’s 15th Congressional District

Incumbent: Ross Spano (Republican, first term)

Partisan Lean: R+6

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Ross Spano (R) 151,380 53.02
Kristen Carlson (D) 134,132 46.98

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Dennis Ross (R) 182,999 57.46
Jim Lange (D) 135,475 42.54

Republican Candidate:

Scott Franklin (campaign website)

Franklin defeated Spano in a very tight primary after Spano had campaign finance violations come up. Franklin is a small-government and low taxes conservative who is also focusing his campaign against Socialism and the Democratic Party’s left wing.

Democratic Candidate:

Alan Cohn (campaign website)

Cohn is a very liberal Democrat running on climate change and other issues.

Yesh’s notes: Cohn’s stance on healthcare is somewhat unique. He wants to create a public option, but also price transparency and using AI to reduce hospital staffing costs––a decided not very liberal proposal, in most cases.

Florida’s 16th Congressional District

Incumbent: Vern Buchanan (Republican, seventh term)

Partisan Lean: R+7

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Vern Buchanan (R) 197,483 54.56
David Shapiro (D) 164,463 45.44

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Vern Buchanan (R) 230,654 59.77
Jan Schneider (D) 155,262 40.23

Republican Candidate:

Vern Buchanan (campaign website)

Buchanan is a relatively conservative Republican who focuses on mainly economic issues. He wants to lower middle class taxes and keep retirement safety nets solvent. He also pushes for–often thought of as a liberal policy–the federal government backing re-training options for Americans into the modern economy.

Democratic Candidate:

Margaret Good (campaign website)

Good is raising tons of money to try and flip this seat long help by Buchanan. She is running on her somewhat liberal record as a state legislator, as well as pushing the importance of this district for Florida Democrats and overall in the 2020 political race.

Florida’s 17th Congressional District

Incumbent: Greg Steube (Republican, first term)

Partisan Lean: R+13

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Greg Steube (R) 193,326 62.26
Allen Ellison (D) 117,194 37.74

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Thomas Rooney (R) 209,348 61.81
April Freeman (D) 115,974 34.24
John Sawyer (I) 13,353 3.94

Republican Candidate:

Greg Steube (campaign website)

Steube is a very conservative Republican, advocating to build the wall, remove sanctuary cities, overturn Roe v. Wade, and outlaw “gun-free zones.”

Democratic Candidate:

Allen Ellison (campaign website)

Ellison lost this race by 25 points two years ago, but he’s on the ballot again this November. He is a liberal Democrat running on universal healthcare, fighting climate change, and other general liberal issues.

Florida’s 18th Congressional District

Incumbent: Brian Mast (Republican, second term)

Partisan Lean: R+5

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Brian Mast (R) 185,905 54.3
Lauren Baer (D) 156,454 45.7

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Brian Mast (R) 201,488 53.6
Randy Perkins (D) 161,918 43.07
Carla Spaulding (No party) 12,503 3.33

Republican Candidate:

Brian Mast (campaign website)

Mast is a relatively moderate Republican, campaigning on clean water, along with free market solutions for healthcare. He wants to remove business regulations and is both pro-guns and pro-life.

Yesh’s notes: There is an independent in this race, K.W. Miller, running on an extreme conspiracist right platform. In many ways, he fits all the most extreme caricatures of Republicans portrayed by opposing politicians. I doubt he’ll gain enough support to cost Mast the seat. How much support he gets, however, could give us a good pulse of the Republican Party constituency as a whole, especially in deep red areas.

Democratic Candidate:

Pam Keith (campaign website)

Keith is a liberal Democrat running mostly on an anti-President Trump platform. She supports a single-payer universal healthcare plan, though she is willing to get there incrementally.

Overview

Six of these nine seats are held by Republicans and three by Democrats. None of these seats are really in danger of flipping, though a few of them could be close in November.

Interested in the rest of our primers for other House races? We have them all listed on our primer home page.

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