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 MastThe 9 House Republicans who support background checks Two cats visit Capitol Hill to thank lawmakers who helped end 'kitten slaughterhouse' Buzz Aldrin marks launch of Apollo 11 mission to the moon MORE (R-Fla.) defeated Democrat Lauren Baer. Meanwhile, Rep. Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartThe 9 House Republicans who support background checks House passes temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans House fails to pass temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans MORE (R-Fla.) secured another term in office after beating Democrat Mary Barzee Flores in the 25th District.

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 RossIsrael should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Pro-Saudi Arabia think tank abruptly closes in Washington The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke 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-LehtinenRepublican Salazar seeks rematch with Shalala in key Miami House district Latina leaders: 'It's a women's world more than anything' Ex-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm MORE's successor. 

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

Likewise, Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell ousted Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloOvernight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument Carbon tax shows new signs of life in Congress Democratic lawmaker pushes back on Castro's call to repeal law making illegal border crossings a crime MORE (R-Fla.) in Florida's 26th District, delivering her party their second pick-up in the state.

--Updated at 9:54 p.m.