2024 Election Preview

Fri, May 10, 2024 at 2:00PM

Chris Dawson, Attorney, GrayRobinsonChris Dawson

National politics are sure to dominate the 2024 election cycle but Florida has many consequential state races and initiatives on the ballot this fall. With qualifying periods in May and June for state and local candidates, let’s review the races and issues Florida voters will decide in the coming months.

Statewide Races and Initiatives

U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is up for re-election in 2024 to another six-year term in the United States Senate. The former two-term Governor is being challenged by former U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D), who served in the United States House of Representatives from 2019-2021. Most recently, Mucarsel-Powell served as a higher education administrator in Florida. Scott is currently favored in the race, due in large part to the voter registration advantage enjoyed by Republicans statewide. However, Senator Scott is accustomed to tight races, having won his seat in 2018 with just 10,033 votes after a mandatory recount. With a Presidential contest and ballot initiatives driving turnout, he could be in for another tight race this year.

Speaking of ballot initiatives, there will be a total of six statewide ballot initiatives on the 2024 ballot. Two initiatives, recreational marijuana and abortion access, are petition-led initiatives placed directly by voters. The remaining four initiatives were placed on the ballot by the Legislature in 2023 and 2024. Proponents and opponents of marijuana and abortion efforts are lining up for bruising and expensive campaigns leading up to November. The four Legislature-derived initiatives are as follows:

  • Elimination of public campaign financing for statewide candidates.
  • Constitutional right to fish and hunt.
  • Additional homestead tax exemption.
  • Partisan school board elections.

All initiatives require a 60 percent-plus vote of the electorate in order to be adopted into the Florida Constitution. Expect to hear a lot more about these over the summer and into the fall as the election nears.

140 Legislative Seats Up for Grabs

Meanwhile, races will occur around the state for the Florida Legislature. Every seat in Florida's House of Representatives will be on the ballot and one half of the Florida Senate (all odd numbered seats) will be as well. Florida Republicans will seek to protect their supermajorities in both chambers while Florida Democrats will try to chip away at those advantages. Notably, our great friend and colleague Senator Keith Perry (R-Gainesville) is term limited this year. It is suspected (hoped) that he will be continuing his career in public service down the road and we extend our sincerest appreciation for his efforts to protect and advance the roofing industry in the Florida Legislature!


Chris Dawson is an Attorney and professional Lobbyist for GrayRobinson’s Orlando office and is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Alabama. He primarily focuses on lobbying and government relations for public and private sector clients at the executive and legislative levels of state government. He is credentialed as a Designated Professional Lobbyist by the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists. Chris also holds two degrees in Civil Engineering and has experience in construction litigation and design professional malpractice defense.

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