Florida midterm elections result in gains for Republicans in Florida, but losses nationwide


Tribune News Service

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock waves at supporters after winning the senate runoff election on Dec. 6, 2022. Photo courtesy of Natrice Miller/AJC/TNS.

Alison LaTorre, Associate Editor-in-Chief

The 2022 midterm elections on Nov. 8 were widely expected to result in Republican gains, but the midterms failed to live up to the expectations of the voters. There was no obvious winner nationwide.

One of the most critical wins for Democrats was the gain of a seat in the senate, further extending their lead to 51-49. This was made possible by the flip of Pennsylvania’s senate seat by John Fetterman and Democrats’ continuing hold on one of Georgia’s senate seats, where Reverend Raphael Warnock was re-elected on Dec. 6 in a runoff election.

Despite this, Republicans did have several successes in the 2022 midterm elections. They regained control of the House of Representatives, now holding 222 seats to Democrats’ 213. More locally, Republicans won by large margins in Florida.

With Gov. Ron DeSantis winning in a landslide by a margin of roughly 20 points, he is becoming increasingly favorable to run for the 2024 presidential election. That said, Democrats have said the red shift in the midterm elections was a product of alleged gerrymandering that would ensure the GOP would win in house, senate and gubernatorial elections.

“I think that, as a debate student, I am well informed on these topics to an extent in which I can make an educated decision on DeSantis. That being said, I do not support his campaign,” junior Abigail Melamed said.

The Republican party has grown throughout the state in recent years, especially in more southern areas. Democrats appear to be increasingly losing the Hispanic vote in Florida, which was critical for DeSantis’ success in areas such as Miami-Dade County, which is traditionally Democratic but has flipped Republican. In the county, three out of the four congressional seats were taken by Republicans.

Sen. Marco Rubio also held onto his seat against Rep. Val Demings, winning by a margin of 16 points.

“While I believe that having a black woman serving as one of [Florida’s] senators would be a huge step in the right direction of proper representation, I knew realistically that she would not win against someone like Marco Rubio,” junior Maya Gordon said.

Locally, four new school board members were elected to the School Board of Broward County. In District 1, Rodney Velez secured 52% of the votes over his competitor, Murray Martin. Velez campaigned heavily on the premise of transparency and expanding student mental health programs and resources.

In District 5, Jeff Holness, a former mayor of Broward County, won the seat by 8 points over his competitor Ruth Carter-Lynch. Holness ran on a platform of improving working conditions for staff and teachers, as well as, like Velez, student mental health resources.

In District 8, which is an at-large seat that represents the entire county, Allen Zeman defeated Donna Korn by 2.8 percentage points.

In District 6, Brenda Fam won against her competitor Steven Julian with 52% of the vote. Fam believes strongly in “respect for parental rights and family values and the removal of obscene and age-inappropriate materials.” Fam also stands for the safety of those on school campuses. Fam does not support sex education for students from grades K-3 and also does not support Critical Race Theory.

These local and state government elections will affect future state laws and school board policies.

This story was originally published in the December 2022 Eagle Eye print edition.