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2022 Midterm Election Guide: Part I

🏛️ U.S. Senator

The leading candidates are incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Rep. Val Demings (D). You’ll also see Dennis Misigoy (LPF), Steven B. Grant (NPA), and Tuan TQ Nguyen (NPA) on the ballot.

I think a missing piece from so many election guides, the facts of which are obfuscated by attack ads, is how candidates voted on important legislation and whether that’s in alignment with your interests, beliefs, etc. When we boil it all down, that’s the main reason to elect someone, is it not? To represent your interests in D.C. and vote accordingly?

If you agree, scroll down this page to the section titled Key Votes and you can see how Marco Rubio voted on key congressional legislation in 2021. You can view Val Demings’ yeas or nays of 2021 on this page.

 

🇺🇸 U.S. Representatives

I don’t have to tell ya that everyone and their mother moved to Florida over the last few years. It’s no wonder, then, that after the 2020 U.S. Census, the Sunshine State was granted an extra seat in the House of Representatives. Following a redistricting process, all seats for all four of the districts that stretch across Miami-Dade are on the ballot this year. You can see how the districts were redrawn from 2020 to 2022 using Ballotpedia’s interactive comparison tool; just scroll down a bit on the page I linked to.

District 24 touches Miramar to the north down to the 195 expressway, though downtown north of the Dolphin Expressway and the southern part of Edgewater fit in too. It stretches east to include all the barrier island communities: Fisher Island up through Golden Beach. The western boundary roughly borders Brownsville, West Little River and Opa-Locka.

Jesus G. Navarro (R) 
Frederica Wilson (D)

District 26 starts in Wynwood and — no joke — reaches all the way west across the Everglades to include some of the communities east of Naples and Marco Island. The Dolphin Expressway basically serves as the southern boundary and the district runs north into Miami Lakes.

Mario Diaz-Balart (R)
Christine Alexandria Olivo (D)

District 27 basically includes everything south of the Dolphin Expressway and east of the Turnpike, including Key Biscayne.

María Elvira Salazar (R)
Annette Taddeo (D) 

District 28 includes everything west of the Turnpike and north to Tamiami Trail, though there’s a little pocket carved out to include Sweetwater and parts of Fontainebleau. It includes the southernmost reaches of Miami-Dade and all of the Florida Keys.

Carlos A. Gimenez (R)
Robert Asencio (D)

If you are as befuddled by some of these boundaries as I am, the reason I harped on this is in part because we’ll use it later on as a means of illustrating the importance of some of the races below.

 

✒️ Governor & Lieutenant Governor

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez (R) are being challenged by Charlie Crist and Karla Hernandez (D), in addition to Hector Roos and Jerry ‘Tub’ Rorabaugh (LPF) and Carmen Jackie Gimenez and Kyle ‘KC’ Gibson (NPA).

I’m not really sure what to say here that hasn’t already been said other than a reminder that no candidate (or person, for that matter) is going to be in alignment with you 100% of the time. So are you “mostly” happy or unhappy with the job Gov. DeSantis has done as our governor since taking office in 2019? “Mostly” pessimistic or optimistic about the direction your quality of your life and the lives of other Floridians will trend should he have another four years in office? Vote accordingly!


⚖️ Attorney General

Ashley Moody (R) is seeking re-election, with Aramis Ayala (D) running to unseat her. Ayala has formerly served as a State Attorney, a position she held from 2017 to 2021. 

The Attorney General’s responsibilities include protecting Floridians from fraud, defending the state in civil litigation — including challenges to the constitutionality of state laws — and representing the people of Florida against criminals appealing their convictions in state or federal court. You can get a feel for what all the job entails and what the day-to-day of the position looks like by checking out Atty. Gen. Moody’s “week in review” series.


💰 Chief Financial Officer

Incumbent Jimmy Patronis (R) is being challenged by Adam Hattersley (D). With Florida’s property insurance market at critical status, this race is worth careful consideration, as this office oversees insurance regulation and insurance consumer advocacy.

The Tallahassee Democrat has a brief Q&A with both candidates in addition to listing basic biographical info and qualifications.

 

🌱 Commissioner of Agriculture

This position was most recently “made famous” by former ag Commissioner Nikki Fried, who vacated the seat to challenge Charlie Crist for the Democratic nominee for governor. Though the job title doesn’t suggest it, this person heads up the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Things that fall outside of agriculture but within this official’s purview include firearm licenses, regulation of charitable organizations, and inspection of gas stations (you’ll see their sticker on the pump when you fill up).

One of the candidates, Naomi Esther Blemur (D), hails from North Miami and is an elected committeewoman for the Miami Dade Democratic Executive Committee in District 15. The other, Wilton Simpson (R), is currently the president of the Florida Senate and represents the counties north of Tampa.


🏛️ State Senators & State Representatives

There are two state senate races in Miami-Dade and seven for state representative. That represents potential turnover for roughly a third of senate districts and half of the house districts covering the county. For brevity’s sake, I’m pointing you to the Miami Herald’s list of candidates (and corresponding endorsements) in those races.

What I want to revisit here are those “interesting” new boundaries for our congressional districts. Who is it that we entrust to draw that new district map and not gerrymander our representative democracy into oblivion? It’s these folks.

Maybe these races have not held much weight for you in the past. But if any of our headline-grabbing new state laws do hold a lot of weight for you, a reminder that those laws have their inception in our state house and senate, drafted and voted on by these folks.


🧑‍⚖️ Florida’s Supreme Court Justices 

Maybe the role of the state’s supreme court feels a little above your head. Referring back to the redistricting process, consider that the Florida Supreme Court last June declined to hear a challenge to the map we’re now working with in this election. And when some individual or organization decides to launch lawsuits against those aforementioned headline-grabbing state laws, as many have, it’s these folks who get the final say.

Our justices are appointed by the Governor. In this election, voters get to decide to keep or “fire” the judge via a retention vote. We are going to point you to Voting for Justice, a pretty comprehensive resource for reading up on the five justices on the ballot.