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. The second group of districts has the same split, while seven this final group have Democrats.

Florida’s 19th Congressional District

Incumbent: Francis Rooney (Republican, third term)

Partisan Lean: R+13

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Francis Rooney (R) 211,465 62.27
David Holden (D) 128,106 37.72

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Francis Rooney (R) 239,225 65.87
Robert Neeld (D) 123,812 34.09

Republican Candidate:

Byron Donalds (campaign website)

Donalds took advantage of Rooney’s retirement to win a very tight six-person primary and come out the nominee in this red district. He is a small government conservative running on lower spending, a Fair Tax, and a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Democratic Candidate:

Cindy Banyai (campaign website)

Banyai is a progressive Democrat, supporting Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. She also has a clear focus on American involvement in multinational bodies, on many levels.

Florida’s 20th Congressional District

Incumbent: Alcee Hastings (Democratic, 14th term)

Partisan Lean: D+31

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Alcee Hastings (D) 202,659 99.92

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Alcee Hastings (D) 222,914 80.31
Gary Stein (R) 54,646 19.69

Republican Candidate:

Greg Musselwhite (campaign website)

Musselwhite is a hard-line Republican running on President Trump’s platform on immigration and building the wall.

Democratic Candidate:

Alcee Hastings (campaign website)

Hastings is a consistent Democrat who has spent almost three decades in this office, and should have no trouble holding it.

Florida’s 21st Congressional District

Incumbent: Lois Frankel (Democratic, fourth term)

Partisan Lean: D+9

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Lois Frankel (D) 100

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Lois Frankel (D) 210,606 62.71
Paul Spain (R) 118,038 35.14
Michael Trout (I) 7,217 2.15

Republican Candidate:

Laura Loomer

Yesh’s notes: I have made the decision not to link to Loomer’s campaign site, which prominently features a quote from Michelle Malkin on its front page. Malkin made a break from the mainstream right a few years ago over her support for Nicholas Fuentes, an alt-right figure who has dabbled in White Nationalism and Holocaust Denial. Loomer won her crowded primary in this safe Democratic seat, and has used her controversial national profile to raise a ton of money to spend in this race. She is most notorious for her far-right political activism, and has been banned from most social media sites for her extreme anti-Islam views.

Democratic Candidate:

Lois Frankel (campaign website)

Frankel is a liberal Democrat, running on her record as well as pushing back against President Trump’s policies on many issues.

Florida’s 22nd Congressional District

Incumbent: Ted Deutch (Democratic, fifth term)

Partisan Lean: D+6

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Ted Deutch (D) 184,634 62.02
Nicolas Kimaz (R) 113,049 37.98

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Ted Deutch (D) 199,113 58.94
Andrea McGee (R) 138,737 41.06

Republican Candidate:

James Pruden (campaign website)

Pruden is a fiscal conservative, campaigning to lower taxes, pass a Balanced Budget Amendment, and keep jobs and supply chains in America. He also supports President Trump’s immigration policy, and uses strong anti-Democratic Party rhetoric.

Democratic Candidate:

Ted Deutch (campaign website)

Deutch is a prominent Democrat nationally due to his seat on the House Judiciary Committee. He is a somewhat liberal Democrat who has a strong approach towards campaign finance reform.

Florida’s 23rd Congressional District

Incumbent: Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Democratic, eighth term)

Partisan Lean: D+11

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) 161,611 58.48
Joe Kaufman (R) 99,446 35.98
Tim Canova (No party) 13,697 5

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) 183,225 56.7
Joe Kaufman (R) 130,818 40.49

Republican Candidate:

Carla Spalding (campaign website)

Spalding is a pro-Trump immigrant from Jamaica, focusing her campaign on the notion that the Democratic Party has failed Black Americans.

Yesh’s notes: Spalding is one of a surprisingly large number of Black women running as Republicans in deep blue districts. She is a potentially compelling candidate, along with others like Kim Klacik and Angela Stanton King, among others. I do find it surprising that they are all running in districts that they have essentially no chance to win, rather than potentially more competitive ones.

Democratic Candidate:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (campaign website)

Wasserman Schultz is most well known for her role as DNC chair in 2016, something that has garnered some strong opposition to her from the party’s left wing. She mostly campaigns on her record, name recognition, and opposing President Trump.

Florida’s 24th Congressional District

Incumbent: Frederica Wilson (Democratic, fifth term)

Partisan Lean: D+34

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Frederica Wilson (D) 100

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Frederica Wilson (D) 100

Republican Candidate:

Lavern Spicer (campaign website)

Spicer is yet another pro-Trump Black woman running in a heavily Democratic district. She isn’t spending much, but is focusing on her decades as a local community activist.

Democratic Candidate:

Frederica Wilson (campaign website)

Wilson is well-known for her cowboy hat, and hasn’t faced a November challenge since 2014. She runs on her popularity and her record in this safe district.

Yesh’s notes: There is an Independent candidate in this race, Christine Olivo, running on a progressive platform of Universal Basic Income, Medicare for All, and the Green New Deal. It will be interesting to see if she can make any inroads into Wilson’s support.

Florida’s 25th Congressional District

Incumbent: Mario Diaz-Balart (Republican, ninth term)

Partisan Lean:

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Mario Diaz-Balart (R) 128,672 60.45
Mary Barzee Flores (D) 84,173 39.55

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Mario Diaz-Balart (R) 157,921 62.36
Alina Valdes (D) 95,319 37.64

Republican Candidate:

Mario Diaz-Balart (campaign website)

Diaz-Balart is a popular Congressman who has represented this district for almost two decades. He is a fiscal hawk who focuses on his years of service for the community.

Democratic Candidate:

There is no Democrat running in the general election in this district.

Florida’s 26th Congressional District

Incumbent: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (Democratic, first term)

Partisan Lean: D+6

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) 119,797 50.87
Carlos Curbelo (R) 115,678 49.13

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Carlos Curbelo (R) 148,547 52.95
Joe Garcia (D) 115,493 41.17
Jose Peixoto (I) 16,502 5.88

Republican Candidate:

Carlos Gimenez (campaign website)

Gimenez immigrated from Cuba after the Revolution in 1960, and is campaigning against the left wing of the Democratic Party based on that. He is well-funded (though Mucarsel-Powell has much more) and using that to try to take back this district. Gimenez is pro-Trump and conservative, though he is focusing more on broad ideals than specific policies for now.

Democratic Candidate:

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (campaign website)

Mucarsel-Powell flipped this seat in 2018 and she has the money to try to hold it. She is fighting against President Trump’s immigration policies and the Republican tax cuts of the previous Congressional term. She is also campaigning on gun control and other general liberal priorities.

Florida’s 27th Congressional District

Incumbent: Donna Shalala (Democratic, first term)

Partisan Lean: D+5

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Donna Shalala (D) 130,743 51.76
Maria Elvira Salazar (R) 115,588 45.76
Mayra Joli (I) 6,255 2.48

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) 157,917 54.89
Scott Fuhrman (D) 129,760 45.11

Republican Candidate:

Maria Elvira Salazar (campaign website)

This district was long held by Ros-Lehtinen, possibly the most liberal Republican in Congress for decades. Salazar failed to keep this in Republican hands two years ago, but she’s back to try again in 2020. Salazar is also a very liberal Republican, campaigning on things like fighting climate change and keeping Obamacare healthcare protections while allowing the free market to lower healthcare costs. She is also campaigning against Socialism on the left.

Democratic Candidate:

Donna Shalala (campaign website)

Shalala was the Secretary of HHS during the Clinton Administration, but she is more well-known for her tenure as President of the University of Miami for 15 years, including during the Nevin Shapiro athletics scandal. That didn’t stop her from winning this Miami-area seat two years ago. She is a somewhat liberal Democrat, focusing on fighting climate change and expanding the Affordable Care Act.

Overview

Democrats control seven of these mostly Miami-area districts. The final two districts might be potentially competitive, but like none of the others in this group will be.

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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