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Pictured: Primary candidates in New York and Florida
Both parties face contentious primaries after redistricting efforts closed seats for representatives in New York. Photos: Getty Images

Primary races to look out for in New York and Florida

Key election contests are happening in three states across the country on August’s final primary day.

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Editor's note: This article was written by Alan Nuñez and Carlos Nogueras Ramos

Florida and New York both had their congressional maps rearranged thanks to redistricting, which has increased the number of significant races when residents head to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 23. 

FLORIDA

GOVERNOR’S RACE 

Perhaps the most significant race of all is the gubernatorial contest in Florida as Democrats will get to choose the nominee to go up against current Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who has toyed with the idea of submitting his bid for president in 2024. While in the U.S. Senate race, Republican Marco Rubio is running unopposed, Rep. Val Demings will want to lock up the Democratic nomination and move on for a chance to beat the long-standing Republican Senator. 

In the Sunshine state’s gubernatorial race, Democrats will have to pick who they believe to be the strongest candidate to be able to defeat DeSantis. As November’s general elections near, Democrats still have not narrowed down the main person for the challenge, but there are two frontrunners for that Democratic nomination. 

It will likely come down to former Republican Governor and now Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, who Democrats made their gubernatorial nominee back in 2014 but ultimately lost, and Nikki Fried, the current Agriculture Commissioner, and only statewide elected Democrat. Fried would be Florida’s first female Governor if elected. 

Crist’s campaign, similar to that of Joe Biden during his presidential run, promotes his familiar name and tries to convince voters that experience and civility will be enough to take down the divisive leader in DeSantis. While Fried is fighting for abortion rights while also going after Crist and the fact that he was once a Republican. 

Both nominees have mostly exhausted almost all of their funds for this campaign and will need a lot more to go up against DeSantis who has an exorbitant amount of money for November’s general elections. 

SENATE RACE 

In the state’s U.S. Senate race, Rep. Marco Rubio is running unopposed and will look to for another win as he has held the seat for more than a decade since 2011. Democrats have their pick of over four candidates, Ricardo De La Fuente, Val Demings, Brian Rush, and William Sanchez. 

According to a poll from the Associated Press, Demings and Rubio are in a dead heat. Demings is the current frontrunner to lock up the Democratic nomination. She has raised more than $48 million while the other three candidates combined have just over $300,000 between them. 

As it stands now, Democrats control the White House, Senate, and the House of Representatives. For Rubio and Republicans in the Senate, just one flipped seat would give them the majority. Every upcoming senate race is pivotal and depending on who wins, would change the political environment and balance of power in Congress. Florida in particular is gaining widespread notice for its possible implications. 

NEW YORK 

A battle brews in New York to determine progressive democratic temperatures in the state, as Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney face each other for the state’s 12th congressional district, newly redrawn after redistricting. The new outline opens one single Manhattan-based seat.

Nadler, 75, is vying for Trump’s impeachment where he had a leading role. He’s also emphasizing his voting record, citing his rejection of the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. The incumbent Congressman was also endorsed by The New York Times and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schummer.

Meanwhile, Maloney, who was elected in 1992 along with Nadler, is running on women’s rights, stating she is the most qualified candidate in that regard, given the recent SCOTUS ruling. 

According to NPR reporting, Maloney, 76, received more campaign funding than Nadler. 

The Democratic race pits democrats with largely similar platforms against each other following a redrawn map. 

“I didn’t want to run against my good friend, Jerry Nadler,” Maloney said at a debate. “We have been friends and allies for years. Unfortunately, we were drawn into the same district.” 

Neither was willing to run in a different district.

Against them is Suraj Patel, a 38-year-old lawyer, and lecturer in New York. Patel first challenged Maloney in the 2019 and 2020 Democratic primaries. 

New York’s 10th Congressional District

Around a dozen candidates are vying for New York’s 10th congressional district, but few stand out from the crowd. 

As of recent polling, Daniel Goldman, the former legal counsel to House Democrats who pursued Trump’s impeachment, is leading the race. However, Goldman came under fire for his campaign financing, where he roundly outspent his opponents with his own money. 

Goldman is heir to the Levi Strauss & Co. fortune. 

Recently, he also received an unexpected endorsement from former president Donald Trump.

“We should know enough by now that we can’t take Donald Trump at his word, and that he likes to meddle in elections,” Goldman said in response to a question about the endorsement posed by debate hosts PIX11. “Last week he attacked me, now he is pretending to endorse me to try to meddle in this election.”

Goldman faces Mondaire Jones, another front-runner, and Rockland native who received endorsements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He is a newly elected congressman representing District 17. 

Jones honed in on Goldman’s wealth at a recent debate, hoping to dampen his rise in the polls.

“I know the economic pain that people are feeling because I grew up in Section 8 housing and on food stamps, raised by a young, single mom. I can’t imagine this district sending someone to Congress who’s worth $253 million,” Jones said regarding Goldman’s wealth.

Also ahead in the polls is Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, who according to Politico, received abundant support from the Emerson College poll. Niou received endorsements from the Working Families Party and nonprofit New York Communities for Change. 

In the same debate, Niou slammed Goldman’s wealth but received her own share of criticism from Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who is up against Niou for progressive young voters in the city. 

Niou has also expressed pointed opposition to Israel and said during a debate she would not support any congressional action supporting it. She also called for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

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