Familiar faces retain state, U.S. House seats

U.S. Rep Kat Cammack (right) was at Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville on Tuesday with fellow supporters.
U.S. Rep Kat Cammack (right) was at Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville on Tuesday with fellow supporters. (Photo by Taryn Ashby)
Rep. Kat Cammack
Kat Cammack

Election Day brought a clean sweep for area incumbents looking to return to Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.

With 93% of the votes counted, U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Gainesville, had 62% of the votes in her battle with 28-year-old political newcomer Danielle Hawk for the 3rd Congressional District. The Associated Press called the race early in the evening.

The two advanced after Cammack defeated Republican challenger Justin Waters and Hawk easily beat Tom Wells in the Democratic primary.

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FL Senate District 9 Keith Perry
Keith Perry

“So, when we win the election this evening, we will focus on the issues that everyone here in North Central Florida cares about most,” said Cammack at Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville on Tuesday morning. “That is the economy getting it back on track, lowering gas prices, getting inflation under control, securing the southern border, bringing down crime, stopping fentanyl poisoning in our communities, and getting the government out of the way.”

State Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, was easily re-elected with 65% of the vote against Democratic challenger Rodney Long for the redrawn Senate District 9 seat.

Perry, who owns a roofing company, was elected to the Florida Senate in 2016 after serving in the Florida House from 2010 to 2016.

Yvonne Hinson
Yvonne Hinson

Rep. Yvonne Hinson, D-Gainesville, who was elected in 2020 to the Florida House 22 seat, defeated Republican Hollye Merton, earning 60% of the votes with 92% of the precincts reporting.

“Thank you for trusting me,” Hinson tweeted to supporters. “I am ready to keep fighting for you.”

Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry, defeated Democrat Brandon Peters with 56% of the vote for the Florida House District 21 seat. Clemons, a vice president at Santa Fe College, has served in the position since 2016.

Statewide, Republican incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis easily defeated Democrat Charlie Crist, a former governor, claiming just shy of 60% of the vote, while Crist earned almost 40% of the vote.

With 97% of votes counted, DeSantis had flipped eight counties he lost in 2018—including Crist’s home county of Pinellas. Alachua County was one of only five in the state that went to Crist.

In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Republican Marcio Rubio also easily defeated Democratic challenger Val Demings with 57% of the vote.  

Clemons Chuck

Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody earned 60% of the vote over Democratic challenger Aramis Ayala.

In other state races, Republican Wilton Simpson won the Agriculture Commissioner position with 59% of the vote over Democrat Naomi Blemur, and Republican Jimmy Patronis also took 59% of the vote for Chief Financial Officer over Democrat Adam Hattersley.

Editors note: Final results will be updated when all precincts report.

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