Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis cruised to re-election in the 2022 General Election, and Republican Marco Rubio won another term in the U.S. Senate.
Other Florida candidates winning statewide seats include Wilton Simpson, a Republican from Trilby, who is Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture; Republican Ashley Moody, who won another term as Attorney General; and Republican Jimmy Petronis, who was re-elected to Chief Financial Officer.
State lawmakers who secured the most votes include Danny Burgess, a Republican from Zephyrhills, in District 23 of the Florida Senate; Republican Randy Maggard, who won the District 54 seat in the Florida House of Representatives; Kevin M. Steele who won the House district 55 seat; and, Traci Koster, who won the district 66 seat.
At the federal level, Incumbent Republican Gus Bilirakis was re-elected to represent Florida’s 12th congressional district by a commanding margin.
In Hillsborough County, Republican challengers defeated two Democrat incumbents on the Hillsborough County Commission.
Kimberly Overman lost her bid for re-election to Republican challenger Joshua Wostal. Democrat Muriel Smith was defeated by Republican challenger Donna Cameron Cepeda.
Democrat incumbent Harry Cohen won by a thin margin over Republican challenger Scott D. Levinson.
Republican incumbent Ken Hagan also won another term on the Hillsborough County board by a significant margin, defeating Democrat challenger Angela Birdsong.
In Pasco County, Al Hernandez defeated James M. Washington in the nonpartisan race for District 1 on the Pasco County School Board, which was vacated by Allen Altman, after 16 years on the board.
Hernandez joins school board members Cynthia Armstrong and Megan Harding, who won re-election during the Primary.
On the Pasco County Commission, Republicans Seth Weightman and Gary Bradford will be new faces on the five-member board.
The outcome for both of those seats was known before the General Election.
Weightman replaces Mike Moore, who steps away from the board after two terms. Bradford replaces Christina Fitzpatrick, whom he defeated in the Primary.
Besides making choices for elected leaders, voters in Pasco and Hillsborough counties made their voices known on a local referendum on each ballot.
Pasco voters overwhelming approved a 15-year extension of Penny for Pasco, a 1-cent surtax that is divvied up between Pasco County, the Pasco County School Board and the six municipalities within the county.
Hillsborough County, voters rejected a proposed tax to pay for transportation improvements. The transportation referendum had been challenged, was ruled unconstitutional and was the subject of an appeal, when voters cast their votes.
A legal issue also popped up in the Pasco County School Board District 1.
Hernandez initially was disqualified by a judge, after allegations arose claiming that he did not meet the residency requirement.
Hernandez challenged that ruling and won his appeal.
He spent much of Election Day on Nov. 8 holding a political sign outside the polling place at Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex, and chatting with people passing by.
He said he could not let the disqualification stand.
“I care about my integrity,” Hernandez said.
Voter Michael Faust, who lives in Land O’ Lakes, came to the polling place at the recreation complex on his way home from work.
Participating in the political process is important to him.
“A lot of people in the world don’t have a chance to vote. A lot of people don’t have a say. I think it’s important, as Americans, to make our opinions known and to ensure the continued existence of our free country,” he said.
While generally not a pro-tax guy, he said he supported Penny for Pasco.
“I do think it’s important to give back to the community. I think it’s a good thing.”
He said his main motivator in this year’s election was to show his support for Florida’s incumbent governor.
“I just wanted to keep Ron DeSantis in,” he said.
Based upon Election Day results, that’s a sentiment widely shared across the state.
Hillsborough County: 52.36%
Pasco County: 54.71%
KEY LOCAL RACES
Hillsborough County Commission
Scott D. Levinson: 49.66%
Harry Cohen: 50.34%
Ken Hagan: 56.58%
Angela Birdsong: 43.42%
Donna Cameron Cepeda: 52.73%
Mariella Smith: 47.27%
Joshua Wostal: 52.38%
Kimberly Overman: 47.62%
Hillsborough County Referendum (Transportation)
Pasco County School Board, District 1
Al Hernandez: 64.85%
James Washington: 35.15%
Penny for Pasco referendum
KEY FLORIDA RACES
Ron DeSantis: 59.38%
Charlie Crist: 39.96%
Ashley Moody: 60.59%
Aramis Ayala: 39.41%
Chief Financial Officer
Jimmy Patronis: 59.98%
Adam Hattersley: 40.52%
Commissioner of Agriculture
Wilton Simpson: 59.31%
Naomi Esther Blemur: 40.69%
State Attorney, 6th Judicial Circuit
Bruce Bartlett: 58.84%
Allison Miller: 41.16%
Ed Hooper: 64.76%
Amaro Lionheart: 35.24%
Danny Burgess: 63.19%
Mike Harvey: 36.81%
State House of Representatives
Randy Maggard: 61.62%
Brian Staver: 36.11%
Kevin M. Steele: 77.52%
Charles “C.J.” Hacker Jr: 39.67
Traci Koster: 60.12%
David Tillery: 39.88%
(Note: Constitutional Amendments require approval of 60% or more to be adopted)
Constitutional Amendment 1: Limitation on the Assessment of Real Property Used for Residential Purposes
Constitutional Amendment 2: Abolishing the Constitution Revision Commission
Constitutional Amendment 3: Additional Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Specified Critical Public Service Workforce
KEY FEDERAL RACES
Marco Rubio: 57.69%
Val Demings: 41.26%
U.S. House of Representatives
Gus Bilirakis: 70.38%
Kimberly Walker: 29.62%
Kathy Castor: 56.9%
James Judge: 43.1%
Laurel Lee: 58.55%
Alan M. Cohn: 41.45%
*Sources: Unofficial results from the websites of the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, the Pasco County Supervisor of Elections and the Florida Division of Elections.
Published November 16, 2022