TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Latest on Florida’s primary (all times local):
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has turned back a strong primary challenge and will likely be re-elected to a seventh term in Congress.
The Associated Press declared that Wasserman Schultz won her Florida Democratic primary Tuesday against law professor Tim Canova, a Bernie Sanders-backed challenger, with more than 57 percent of the vote.
It was the first time Wasserman Schultz had faced a primary opponent in her heavily Democratic suburban Fort Lauderdale district. Canova had raised about $3.3 million, an extraordinary amount for a primary challenger with no political experience. She raised $3 million but got backing from a political action committee.
Wasserman Schultz was dragged down by her recent forced resignation as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee after leaked emails. Sanders supporters say they showed that Wasserman Schultz had given preferential treatment to Hillary Clinton in the primaries
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy has won the Democratic nomination to face Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
Murphy defeated fiery liberal Rep. Alan Grayson on Tuesday, aided by the backing of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
Murphy appeared confident in the final weeks of the election, virtually ignoring Grayson and focusing instead on Rubio.
Murphy was first elected to the House in 2012, defeating incumbent tea party conservative Allen West.
While Grayson has more consistently voted for Democratic priorities and Obama’s agenda, many party leaders thought he was unelectable because of his brash demeanor.
Murphy has criticized Rubio as caring more about his political ambitions then his constituents, while Republicans have criticized Murphy for embellishing his resume and lack of experience.
Sen. Marco Rubio has earned the support of Florida’s Republican voters to seek a second term, a decision he made at the last minute after his failed presidential bid.
Rubio beat millionaire developer Carlos Beruff, the only major GOP candidate to stay in the race after Rubio decided to run for re-election two days before the deadline to make the ballot. He had said for months he wouldn’t run again no matter what happened in the presidential race.
Rubio will now face the winner of the Democratic primary, either U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy or U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson.
Republican leaders encouraged Rubio to change his mind, seeing him as the best hope to keep his seat in GOP hands as Democrats sought to regain a majority in the Senate.
After a failed presidential run, Sen. Marco Rubio is seeking to secure the Republican nomination for a second term and Democrats are deciding who should face him.
Tuesday’s primary will also set the stage for several U.S. House races in a year that Democrats are hoping to gain seats in the heavily Republican delegation.
Rubio made a last-minute decision to seek another term and nearly cleared what was a crowded Republican field. But millionaire homebuilder Carlos Beruff stayed in with hopes of toppling Rubio.
Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson are battling for the right to face Rubio in November.
South Florida voters were also choosing whether to keep former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Congress or to replace her with Tim Canova, a Bernie Sanders-backed law professor.