Florida Democrats saw the largest vote share for any Democrat in the state in over a decade this week with the victory of Senator-elect Lori Berman in the SD 31 Special Election. Following her victory, GOP Congressman Dennis Ross announced his retirement, giving Democrats new hope to win another open congressional seat, while a new poll shows Senator Bill Nelson with a six-point lead over Rick Scott.
In the same week, yet another Democrat, Annisa Karim of Collier County, announced her candidacy for Congress.
“Senator Lori Berman’s victory solidifies that the “Blue Wave” is real, and Dennis Ross’ retirement shows that the Florida GOP knows it,” said Florida Democratic Party Spokeswoman Caroline Rowland.
“This is a movement, and we continue to see that, not just in our special election wins, but on the ground, in every corner of our state – from marches, to town halls, to voter registration drives – it’s clear that Democrats are motivated and fired up, and ready to make change happen.
USA Today: “Ross joins a lengthy list of GOP House members who have resigned or are not seeking re-election in a year when political handicappers say there’a a strong chance Democrats will reclaim the House.”
Juan Penalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said Ross’ announcement provides Democrats another opportunity to pick up a seat. “In 2018 we are operating under the premise that no Republican seat is safe,” Penalosa said. “Democrats were already planning to invest in get out the vote programs to elect Democrats in rural counties like Lake and Polk and Congressman Ross’ retirement gives us even more reason to double down on our efforts.”
Florida Politics: “It’s only been three days since Gov. Rick Scott announced he would challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, and a new poll shows him six points behind the longtime lawmaker. The survey from Public Policy Polling finds that 50 percent of Florida voters are in favor of Nelson getting a fourth term in the Senate, while 44 percent said they would pick Scott for the job. The remaining six percent said they were unsure who they would vote for.”