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November 8th is Election Day. These midterm elections have been a hot-button topic in the political arena.
A lot is on the ballot and at stake with this midterm election. The year has been one entrenched with political turmoil.
Races on Your Ballot
The U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Governor, State executive offices, State Senate, State House, and more are on your ballot this year. If you have not voted yet, it is not too late, but get your vote out sooner rather than later.
Florida has proved to play a significant role in our political system, so let us take a quick look at who is running.
The Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate is Val Demings. She is a current Congresswoman who serves the Orlando area. She was the first female chief of police in Orlando. In addition, she played a significant role in the January 6th hearings and the impeachment of former president Donald Trump.
The Republican nominee for U.S. Senate is Marco Rubio. He is an incumbent as he is a current U.S. Senator. Moreover, Demings' campaign has highlighted how Marco Rubio has failed to do his job. There are only 100 senators in the United States, making this a significant race.
The U.S. House varies based on where you are registered to vote.
In Gainesville, Danielle Hawk is running for the 3rd congressional district. Her platform highlights advancing family values, empowering women & girls, reducing gun violence, protecting rural Florida, and defending our democracy.
In Orlando, Maxwell Alejandro Frost is running for the 10th congressional district. Frost would be the first Gen Z member in congress. He formerly worked for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and March For Our Lives. He is a more progressive candidate, receiving endorsements from notable political figures such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders.
In Miami, Annette Taddeo, currently a Florida State Senator, is running for the 40th congressional district. She is the first Latina Democrat elected to the Florida State Senate. When she won her seat in 2017, she flipped her district from red to blue.
Charlie Crist, former Governor of Florida and Congressman, is the Democratic nominee for Florida Governor. He tweeted, “On [his] first day as Governor, [he] will sign an Executive order to protect reproductive freedom in Florida. In addition, he has promised to legalize marijuana and expunge records as Governor. This promise holds significance with President Joe Biden’s recent pardon of all prior Federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana. Biden urged Governors to do the same regarding state offenses.
Current Governor Ron DeSantis is the Republican nominee for Florida governor. His platform has been centered on freedom and stopping the so-called woke culture.
The governor race is notable as there are significant conversations about DeSantis' Presidential run in 2024. Much of the 2022 Florida legislative session was composed of extreme bills that appealed to DeSantis’ voter base.
Crist asked DeSantis during a debate, “Why don’t you look in the eyes of the people of the state of Florida and say to them if you’re reelected, you will serve a full four-year term as governor?”
DeSantis stared at the camera with no response to the question.
State Executive Offices
State executive offices include positions such as Attorney General, Florida Agricultural Commissioner, and Chief Financial Officer.
For Attorney General, the Republican nominee is the incumbent, Ashley Moody and the Democratic nominee is Aramis Ayala. The Attorney General is supposed to protect Florida consumers.
For Florida Agricultural Commissioner, the winner will take over the seat that Nikki Fried has held for the past four years. The Republican nominee, Wilton Simpson, is the current president of the Florida Senate. The democratic candidate is Naomi Blemur, an American minister and community leader. The role of The Commissioner of Agriculture is to safeguard Florida consumers and support the agricultural economy.
For Chief Financial Officer, the Democratic nominee is Adam Hattersley, and the Republican nominee is Jimmy Patronis, the incumbent.
State Senate and State House
These positions often get overlooked, but many significant policy measures are on a state-by-state basis. The State Senate and State House vary district by district based on where you live. During the legislative sessions, these elected members vote on the policies that impact the state.
Local Offices, Judges, and Constitutional Amendments
Local offices include mayors, commissioners, and more. Much of their role entails water, power, and things we do not think twice about in our day-to-day experiences. As it is the most direct, local government makes some of the most impactful policy decisions. There are also seats such as soil and water and the School Board. There are constitutional amendments, which become amendments if the majority vote for them. Judges are another overlooked aspect of the ballot. Many people do not know how to vote for Judges as they are non-partisan. However, when challenging harmful legislation passed through the political system: judges play a significant role. The legal and political landscapes are heavily interconnected.
Abortion and Political Messaging
Abortion has been a central focus of many democratic campaigns. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, many people have stated that Roe v. Wade is on the ballot. Since the overturning, there has already been a chain of restrictive abortion bans. At the state level, introduced legislation would criminalize IUDs and other contraceptive methods. Think about party platforms and values when casting your vote.
The bottom line: research your candidates. Not all races are partisan, and districts vary greatly based on where you are registered to vote. The trailblazers running this election need our vote. There is a lot at stake in this election, so go vote!