Southwest Florida’s primary election ballots are starting to fill out.
Democrat David Holden, who ran for the U.S. House District 19 seat in 2018, announced on Facebook that he intends to run again in 2020 challenging Cindy Banyai for the nomination.
And in a Florida House race, immigration attorney Maureen Porras has announced she plans to run for state House District 105 against Javier Estevez, who narrowly lost in 2018.
Both of these seats will be open, meaning the eventual Democratic nominees will not face a Republican incumbent.
In Congressional District 19, Republican U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney is retiring. It is anticipated there could be a handful of candidates in the Republican Party vying to take his place, setting up a GOP primary election for that seat as well.
Republican State Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez, is vacating the District105 seat and running for state Senate, meaning either Estevez or Porras will not have to run against an incumbent there, either.
All these moves would set up primary election contests for the Democratic Party nominees on August 18 if everyone who has announced qualifies for the election.
This is not to be confused with the presidential preference primary on March 17. Yes, we will have two primary elections in 2020–one for president, one for all the rest. The winners will be on the general election ballot Nov. 3.
In announcing his intention to run for Congress on Facebook, Holden said:
“It is with tremendous excitement and optimism that (his wife) Streeter and I announce ‘David Holden for Congress 2020.’ Together in 2018, all of us built something extraordinary in Florida’s 19th District, mobilizing a community to demand fundamental change in our political life. To solve critical problems of global warming, healthcare, gun safety, and simple justice for all who reside in America. Now we finish the job.”
Holden, a financial advisor and chair of the Collier County Democratic Environmental Caucus, faces Banyai, an adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, for the congressional district that includes coastal Collier and Lee counties.
Porras also announced her intention to run on social media declaring on YouTube:
“I am excited to run for the Florida House of Representatives to pave the way for people like me to realize their American dream and it starts by standing up for immigration reform, a more fair criminal justice system, investing in public schools and believing that the strength in our community is shaped by immigrant stories like mine.”
She faces Estevez who launched his campaign in Naples last week and lost to Rodriguez by less than 500 votes in 2018. The House district includes portions of eastern Collier County.