Florida’s political landscape was only slightly altered as a result of the recent elections. While the Republicans still maintain a majority of the seats in both the Florida Senate and House of Representatives, Republican supermajorities were lost. Statewide, twelve incumbents were defeated and sixty-seven legislative newcomers were elected, including seven former lawmakers. Florida’s Secretary of State Ken Detzner has until Tuesday, November 20th to verify the final results.
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- Senate – Florida has two U.S. Senators; one Democrat and one Republican. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson was re-elected by a million vote margin, defeating Republican Congressman Connie Mack IV. Republican U. S. Senator Marco Rubio was not up for election in 2012.
- House of Representatives – Florida’s newly apportioned 27-member Congressional Delegation will include 17 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Previously, there were 25 members of the Delegation with 16 Republicans and 9 Democrats. Two seats were added during last year’s redistricting as a result of population increases.
- Twenty incumbents were re-elected along with seven newcomers, including one former congressman, Democrat Alan Grayson from Orlando, and one former Democratic State Representative, Lois Frankel from West Palm Beach. Three incumbents were defeated, Republicans Cliff Stearns from Orange Park, Allen West from Stuart and David Rivera from Miami.
- Senate – Florida’s 40-member Senate will be made up of 26 Republicans and 14 Democrats, a slight change from the previous 28 Republicans and 12 Democrats.
- Twenty-five incumbents were re-elected, and one incumbent was defeated, Ellyn Bogdanoff from Ft. Lauderdale.
- The incoming freshman Senate members include former Senate President Tom Lee, a Republican from Brandon; two former state house members, Republicans Aaron Bean from Fernandina Beach and Bill Galvano from Bradenton; and, ten current house members — Republicans Jeff Brandes from St. Petersburg, Denise Grimsley from Sebring, Dorothy Hukill from Port Orange, John Legg from New Port Richey and Kelli Stargel from Lakeland as well as Democrats Joe Abruzzo from Wellington, Dwight Bullard from Miami, Jeff Clemens from Lake Worth, Darren Soto from Orlando, and Geraldine Thompson from Orlando.
- House of Representatives – The 120-member House of Representatives will have 76 Republicans and 44 Democrats, a change from the current 81 Republicans and 39 Democrats.
- Seventy-five incumbents were re-elected, and seven incumbents were defeated, including Republicans Chris Dorworth from Heathrow (former incoming Majority Leader), Shaw Harrison from Tampa, Peter Nehr from Tarpon Springs and Scott Plakon from Longwood along with Democrats Mack Bernard from West Palm Beach, John Patrick Julien from North Miami Beach, and Steve Perman from Boca Raton.
- This year’s House of Representatives freshman class includes one current state senator, Republican Mike Fasano from New Port Richey; two former house members, Democrats Bruce Antone from Orlando and Kevin Rader from Delray Beach; two current legislative aides, Democrat Bobby Powell from Riviera Beach and Republican Holly Raschein from Key Largo; and, the sister of a current congresswoman, Democrat Karen Castor Dentel from Maitland.
Newly elected members of the Legislature will be sworn into office on November 20th at the State Capitol.