Florida, New York, Oklahoma head to ballot box for primaries today

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


As the nation continues its slow march to November’s midterm elections, three more states will host primaries on Tuesday. Unlike recent primaries, where the effects of former President Donald Trump’s efforts were more palpable, the states of Florida, New York, and Oklahoma are not expected to produce quite as many fireworks.

While the stakes will be high, it is unlikely any result Tuesday will match what occurred last week when the defeat of Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming sent a thrill through the Trump wing of the Republican Party.

In New York, Democrat infighting is the primary storyline as the state’s redistricting — one that came after New York Democrats were found to have violated anti-gerrymandering laws — has resulted in numerous strong Democrats from the House facing one another in newly-formed districts.

Democrat Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, both of whom serve as chairs on congressional committees, are both attempting to represent their party in the race for the 12th Congressional District.

This is expected to be a close race as both Maloney (1993) and Nadler (1992) have both been in Congress for nearly 30 years, have achieved similar levels of success at the committee level, and broadly have the same voting record.

Meanwhile, a dozen Democrats are vying for the open seat in the 10th Congressional District, including 17th District Rep. Mondaire Jones and Daniel Goldman, perhaps best known as the lead counsel for the majority in the first impeachment proceedings launched against Trump.

Regardless of who emerges from the Democratic fields, both the 10th and 12th districts are expected to lean solidly blue come November.

This did not stop Trump, who has been mostly silent on the Florida, New York, and Oklahoma Republican primaries — from sarcastically commentating on both races on his Truth Social platform.

“Congressman Jerry Nadler can’t be stopped,” Trump wrote Monday. “He’s young, sharp, energetic, and very, very fair. He truly understands the two-party system, and will go out of his way to make sure a Republican gets a fair and open “shake”. Jerry is the dynamo that Washington needs, except in this case, his rival is a woman, who is both physically and mentally stronger than him.”

Trump then added, “Her name is Carolyn Maloney, she accepted many of my campaign contributions in the good old days, and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement. She will never let you down!”

In the 10th race, Trump sardonically endorsed Goldman, the man who would have had him run out of office only two years ago.

“Remember, Vote for Dan Goldman in New York-10!” Trump posted. “He was in charge of the Impeachment Hoax, and even though he lost big, and was devastated by this loss, he was very fair, honorable, and kind. That’s the kind of thinking we need to come out on top with Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and all of those other countries who no longer respect the United States of America!”

Gaetz looks solid, but under threat

In Florida, crowded fields for numerous key offices will finally be sorted.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, the at-times outspoken proponent of former President Donald Trump, has experienced a spirited challenge from fellow Republican Mark Lombardo, who has used a series of attack ads to label Gaetz as both dangerous and an embarrassment to his district, which is composed of the northwesternmost part of the state.

As this region classifies as deep red — Gaetz carried 64.6% of the votes in November 2020 — whoever emerges on the Republican ticket Tuesday will immediately become the presumptive winner.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is already the Republican nominee after no Republicans emerged to challenge him. He will await the results of the four-candidate Democratic primary to see who he will face. Polls show former congressman and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist likely taking the nomination over top contender and state Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried.

The race for the U.S. senate is even clearer. Incumbent Marco Rubio will stand for the Republicans and almost certainly face former Congresswoman Val Demings, although she must first overcome several Democratic challengers on Tuesday.

Eight other Florida congressional seats will be on the ballot Tuesday and, as reported in more detail by Roll Call, figures to be something of a mess as, in numerous cases, a half-dozen or more candidates are vying to represent one party or the other.

Oklahoma Republicans square off

In Oklahoma, which is hosting a primary runoff having held its initial primary in June, the fields are far less crowded, but the offices are nonetheless important.

Top among the Oklahoma races are those for each of the state’s U.S. Senate seats.

In the first, a special-called election triggered by the pending retirement of Republican Jim Inhofe, Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District and former state house speaker T.W. Shannon are the Republican finalists.

Both men have the chance to become the only current U.S. Senator who is also a Native American.

In the other senate race, incumbent James Lankford won his primary in June as did Libertarian nominee Kenneth Blevins and registered independent Michael Delaney. The trio now awaits whichever Democrat emerges from between attorney Jason Bollinger and cybersecurity professional Madison Horn.

The race to replace Mullin in the 2nd District has come down to a pair of state legislators. State Representative Avery Frix and former State Senator Josh Brecheen are the Republican finalists and each can expect almost certain subsequent victory in November should he win.