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Florida 2022 General Election Results

While nothing compares to the Sunshine State’s white sandy beaches and emerald-green waters, Florida’s 2022 midterm election shores were filled with voters, pundits and national media watching the red tsunami surge across the state.  

Voter Registration

A long-standing priority of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) and Florida Democratic Party alike is to increase voter registration. RPOF’s grassroots organization for the 2022 election cycle paid off.

RPOF Chairman, state senator Joe Gruters stated, “The Republican Party of Florida has made voter registration a priority over the last several years and the results are overwhelming, as registered Republicans now outnumber registered Democrats by nearly 300,000 voters. We also put together a turn-out machine at the state level, working closely with every county GOP. Tonight’s results, bolstered by strong candidates, reflect the fruit of those efforts. Further, voters know they can trust the results because Florida has been a leader in election integrity and rapid results.”

Statistics for the 2022 General Election (reported by Florida Department of State):

Voter Registration Total: 14.5M

  • Republican: 5.2M

  • Democrat: 4.9M

  • Minor Party: 260,936

  • No Party Affiliation: 9M

Vote-By-Mail: 2.7M

  • Republican: 999,936

  • Democrat: 1.1M

  • Minor Party: 40,273

  • No Party Affiliation: 536,421

Early Voting: 2.2M

  • Republican votes at 1.1M

  • Democrat: 675,629

  • Minor Party: 32,080

  • No Party Affiliation: 410,227

Gubernatorial Race Highlights

With a nearly 20 point lead, Governor Ron DeSantis overwhelming defeated Congressman Charlie Crist, marking the largest margin of victory in Florida for a Republican Governor. This landslide success trumped his narrow win in 2018 against Democratic challenger, Andrew Gillum, where DeSantis won by a 32,463 vote margin.

DeSantis dominated in 62 of Florida’s 67 counties. Notably, the Governor won Florida’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, by the largest margin of any Republican candidate for Governor in the past 20 years. DeSantis trounced Crist with more than 55% of the vote in the county. This represents a 16-point improvement on his performance in the county in 2018 when he was first elected Governor. Additionally, the Governor secured the once Democratic strongholds of Palm Beach County, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Not only did DeSantis crush the competition with the electorate, he significantly outraised his opponent, heading into Election Day with a 21-to-1 advantage. During his victory speech, the Governor stated, “We not only won the election, we have rewritten the political map.”

Cabinet Race Highlights

Attorney General and a rising star in the Republican Party, Ashley Moody retained her post as Florida’s top cop after defeating former Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala. Moody, a former prosecutor and federal judge, was first elected in 2018. This cycle suggests Moody went from top cop to top candidate. Preliminary election results indicated the Attorney General received 60% of the votes in the state.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Commissioner of Agriculture-Elect Wilton Simpson also swept the state, proving victorious over their Democratic opponents. Patronis was appointed by-then Governor Rick Scott in 2017 and went on to win his first statewide election in 2018. Simpson most recently held the post of Senate-President. Simpson is an egg-farmer and small business owner who resides in west-central Florida.

Legislative Race Highlights

Florida's 2022 Primary Election was held August 23. June qualifying set the field for the cycle, establishing nine Senate seats and 30 House seats were unopposed in both the primary and general elections. Six Senate seats and 15 House seats remained unopposed following the August election.  As a result of the 2022 election cycle, the Florida Legislature secured a Republican super-majority, which is key for procedural purposes and passing the party’s legislative priorities.

2022 Florida Senate: 28 Senate Republicans and 12 Senate Democrats

Incoming Senate President Passidomo, R- Naples had a lot to celebrate Election Night after winning every Republican competitive targeted race. “Tonight, we celebrate the election of 28 new and returning conservative Republican Senators around the state, including historic victories with Corey Simon, Jay Collins and Alexis Calatayud. With the first Black Republican since Reconstruction, the first Green Beret and one of the youngest members ever elected, we will return to Tallahassee with a super majority and a renewed commitment to fighting for access to the American Dream for all Floridians,” she said in an Election Night news release.

2022 Florida House: 85 House Republicans and 35 House Democrats

Incoming Speaker of the House Paul Renner, R- Palm Coast and the Florida House Republican Campaign Committee secured a historic legislative victory, picking up key battleground seats.

“Tonight was historic. Florida voters are sending the largest Republican majority ever to Tallahassee because they support the direction Republican leadership has taken our state. The Florida House will continue to pursue a bold, conservative agenda for the nation to follow that gives citizens more freedom and opportunity to achieve their American Dream.”

Standout targeted candidates headed to the Legislature:

  • Susan Plasencia upset progressive and outspoken incumbent Carlos Guillermo Smith in HD 37. Catching a ride on the red wave with an assist from the newly created legislative map, Republican voter turnout in purple Seminole County helped elect Plasencia to the Florida House.

  • Newcomer Danny Alvarez flipped the new HD 69, unseating Democrat incumbent Andrew Learned. The recreated district included a Republican voter edge, picking up another win for Speaker Renner. 

  • South Florida Republicans retained incumbent Chip LaMarca and secured his seat in the blue territory of Broward County.

2022 Florida Congressional Highlights

Florida will send 20 Republicans to the U.S. House of Representatives, an increase of four from the current composition. Governor DeSantis shaped the state’s new congressional lines, vetoing the legislature’s original map, resulting in a special legislative session to approve his plan.

A highly contested race of interest was Republican incumbent Maria Elvira Salazar versus state senator Annette Taddeo. Salazar defeated Taddeo pulling in 57 percent of the vote in Miami-Dade County’s Congressional District 27. The race was the most-expensive South Florida congressional race.

Republican newcomers heading to the U.S. Capitol include:

  • Former state senator Aaron Bean of Fernandina Beach, who took about 60 percent of the vote in Northeast Florida’s Congressional District 4.

  • Anna Paulina Luna, an Air Force veteran who beat Democrat Eric Lynn by a margin of 53 percent to 45 percent in Pinellas County’s Congressional District 13. She will take the place of former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist.

  • Cory Mills, a veteran and defense-industry consultant who won in Central Florida’s Congressional District 7. He received 58 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat Karen Green and replace U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

Senator Marco Rubio outperformed his Democratic challenger, Congressional Representative Val Demings, exceeding polling expectations by 15 points. This will be Rubio’s third senatorial term.

School Boards

With the Governor setting his sights on parental choice in education, DeSantis threw his star power behind six school board members - being the first Florida Governor to endorse school board candidates. All six school board members endorsed by DeSantis won their elections, providing the Governor a total of 24 wins out of 30 local education candidates he supported this election.

Oher school board endorsements included Moms for Liberty – a conservative parental rights group, which endorsed 12 school board candidates in Florida and made campaign contributions. Florida Democrats endorsed 20 candidates ahead of the general election.

Of the six gubernatorial endorsed candidates, five challenged opponents backed by the Florida Democratic Party.

In three other races, school board candidates endorsed by Democrats challenged candidates backed by Moms for Liberty. Those supported by Moms for Liberty prevailed.

Judges

Florida voters retained five justices to the Florida Supreme Court and approved 28 appellate court judges. These victories maintain the structure of the appellate court system, which has been deemed to be one of the most business-friendly in the nation. The five justices were previously appointed by Republican Governors, including two appointed by Governor DeSantis.

Constitutional Amendments

The 2022 ballot included three constitutional measures for voter consideration. The Florida Constitution requires a 60% favorable vote for the amendment to pass. The three amendments failed to reach the requirement, ultimately failing.

The first amendment would have allowed lawmakers to change property tax rules regarding flood resistance. This would have amended the Florida Constitution to allow the Legislatures to pass laws exempting the value of improvements made for flood resistance when calculating a home's value for property tax purposes. This provision received 42% of the vote.

The second amendment would have abolished the state's Constitutional Revision Commission. This would abolish the Constitution Revision Commission, a 37-member panel that meets every 20 years to propose potential amendments to the state constitution. This provision received 46% of the vote.

The third and final amendment would have allowed lawmakers to change property tax exemptions for some public workers. This would have amended the Florida Constitution to allow the Legislature to pass laws providing a home property tax exemption for teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical responders, military members and child welfare service workers. This provision received 41% of the vote.

Important Dates

In preparation for the 2023 legislative session, members of both the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives will convene Tuesday, November 22, for he purposes of being sworn in and announcing the vision of the new legislative leadership.

Interim committee weeks will begin in December and continue through late February.

  • Interim Committee Week #1: December 12 - December 16, 2022

  • Interim Committee Week #2: January 3 - January 6, 2023

  • Interim Committee Week #3: January 17 - January 20, 2023

  • Interim Committee Week #4: January 23 - January 27, 2023

  • Interim Committee Week #5: February 6 - February 10, 2023

  • Interim Committee Week #6: February 13 - February 17, 2023

  • Interim Committee Week #7: February 20 - February 24, 2023

  • Regular Session: March 7 – May 5, 2023

With national attention focused on Florida, you can count on Foley’s Government Affairs Team to provide you with the latest insider information.

© 2023 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 315
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About this Author

Katie Kelly Public Affairs Advisor Florida
Public Affairs Advisor

Katie is a member of Foley & Lardner's Government & Public Policy Practice as a public affairs advisor, based in the firm's Tallahassee office. As the firm grows its Government Solutions Practice, Katie's extensive government experience and strong executive and legislative relationships strengthen the firm’s ability to deliver the best results for clients and ensure their...

850-513-3383
Jason Allison Director of Public Affairs Florida
Public Affairs Director

Mr. Allison is highly skilled at managing the creation, implementation and maintenance of information systems in highly structured and unstructured environments. He assists clients doing business with state and local government in complying with regulations, relying on his deep understanding of government operations and IT issues, combined with his years of experience in the public and...

850-513-3373
Jonathan Steverson Public Affairs Director Florida
Public Affairs Director

Jonathan (Jon) Steverson is a public affairs director with Foley & Lardner LLP, based in Florida’s capital city. Mr. Steverson is a member of The Florida Bar and trained as a litigator in the private sector before entering the world of public policy to represent the Florida Association of Counties before the Florida Legislature, the governor and cabinet, and numerous agencies and...

850-513-3360
Robert Hosay Public Affairs Attorney Florida
Partner

Robert Hosay is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He co-chairs the firm’s State and Local Public Affairs Practice and chairs the Florida Government & Public Policy Practice. Robert’s practice is focused on assisting clients who conduct business in the public sector. His practice helps clients develop, acquire and/or manage business in the government sector...

850-513-3382
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