GOP limits Dem gains in Florida House seats

GOP limits Dem gains in Florida House seats
© Greg Nash

Republicans locked down a series of key Florida House seats on Tuesday, thwarting Democratic hopes that a blue wave would crash over the state.

In Florida's 6th District, Republican Michael Waltz sailed to a comfortable victory over Democrat Nancy Soderberg. Likewise, in the state's 16th District, Rep. Vern BuchananVernon Gale BuchananMORE (R-Fla.) easily beat back a challenge from Democrat David Shapiro.

And in Florida's 18th District, Rep. Brian MastBrian Jeffrey MastTop House Democrat pushes for 'isolation boxes' for maskless lawmakers Congress restores strict health protocols during omicron-fueled surge Eighth House GOP lawmaker issued 0 fine for not wearing mask on House floor MORE (R-Fla.) defeated Democrat Lauren Baer. Meanwhile, Rep. Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartAnother voice of reason retires Defense contractors ramp up donations to GOP election objectors Bottom line MORE (R-Fla.) secured another term in office after beating Democrat Mary Barzee Flores in the 25th District.

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The GOP also locked down a win in Florida's 15th District – a toss-up district – after Republican Ross Spano edged out Democrat Kristen Carlson to succeed retiring Rep. Dennis RossDennis Alan RossBiden faces lasting blemish from Afghanistan exit Biden needs a Middle East strategy to avoid new crises Biden ramps up pressure on Iran as it grapples with protests MORE (R-Fla.)

While The Cook Political Report rated those four races as leaning Republican, the comfortable margins by which the GOP carried the districts may be an early signal that Florida might not break for Democrats as they had once hoped.

The results in Florida aren't all bad for Democrats. In Florida's 27th District, Democrat Donna Shalala beat out Republican Maria Elvira Salazar to secure her place as retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenOne bipartisan remedy to the wave of anti-LGBTQ legislative attacks? passing the Equality Act High-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Bottom line MORE's successor. 

That race was rated by Cook as "Lean Democrat."

Likewise, Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell ousted Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloProtecting the freedom to vote should be a bipartisan issue Former lawmakers sign brief countering Trump's claims of executive privilege in Jan. 6 investigation A conservative's faith argument for supporting LGBTQ rights MORE (R-Fla.) in Florida's 26th District, delivering her party their second pick-up in the state.

--Updated at 9:54 p.m.