TALLAHASSEE – Dozens of state legislators earned new terms in office as Florida’s qualifying period for the 2014 election ended today.
Top state officials, including Gov. Rick Scott, weren’t as fortunate.
Scott has to confront two relative unknowns in the Republican primary, while former Gov. Charlie Crist will run against former state Sen. Nan Rich in the Democratic primary. The primary is Aug. 26. The general election is Nov. 4.
State Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, qualified in the race for attorney general today. Thurston will square off against George Sheldon, a former head of the state’s child welfare agency, in the primary. The winner will face incumbent Pam Bondi.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam also drew a Democratic opponent. Thad Hamilton challenged Putnam in 2010 but he ran that time as an independent.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is being challenged by Democrat Will Rankin.
Eight state senators – or nearly one-quarter of the Florida Senate – were re-elected without opposition. Nearly one-third of the members in the Florida House also earned new two-year terms since no one qualified to run against them.
One state House district did not have any candidates qualify. That’s because incumbent Rep. Reggie Fullwood, D-Jacksonville, did not properly turn in his qualifying paperwork. This will require the state to set a new qualifying period for the seat.