One legislative body that will be hotly contested this year is the Florida State Senate. Currently, Republicans hold a slim 22-18 majority in the state’s “upper chamber,” but they’re now on the defense with a number of Senate seats up for grabs in November. Four (or five depending on who you ask) priority races will shape the balance of the state senate for the next two years and set the stage for a potential power shift in Tallahassee. If Democrats manage to pick up just two seats, while protecting those they currently hold, the Senate would be evenly split at 20-20, a makeup not seen since 1992 when Ander Crenshaw (R – Jacksonville) and Pat Thomas (D – Quincy) each took a year (in the two year cycle) as President of the Senate. Suffice to say, much is at stake.
The battle lines are drawn for the Republican Senate Majority, led by incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson (R – Spring Hill) and the Democrats’ Senate Victory effort, which is led by incoming Minority Leader Senator Gary Farmer (D – Ft. Lauderdale). Let’s explore these races that promise to be some of the most contentious – and expensive – battles in recent legislative history. Read More.