Incumbent U.S. Rep. Allen West, the outspoken Republican and tea party favorite who headed a bit north past Palm Beach County when his old district was redrawn, narrowly lost to Democrat Patrick Murphy in Tuesday’s elections.
The defeat marked the loss of one of South Florida’s congressional seats held by blacks.
Incumbent Democrat Alcee Hastings, of Miramar, who was forced into a runoff, cruised to victory over Randall Terry, a write-in challenger with no party affiliation.
A third incumbent, Frederica Wilson of Miami, also a Democrat, easily won re-election during the primary voting, turning back a challenge from Dr. Rudy Moise.
Wednesday, West refused to concede to Murphy, instead questioning a decision by the St. Lucie County election supervisor to recount thousands of ballots. West was leading by nearly 2,000 votes but the recount showed him trailing Murphy by 2,400 votes.
West also complained of “disturbing irregularities” in voting in St. Lucie and called for a “full hand count” of ballots in that county.
Redistricting following the last Census made it harder for West to seek re-election in his 22nd District, which turned more Democratic, and he sought election in a new 18th District straddling Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties in a bitterly contested campaign.
In another closely watched race, this time in Miami-Dade, a county beset by long lines and voters waiting for several hours, in some cases, incumbent county commissioner Audrey Edmonson defeated Keon Hardemon, who had forced her into a runoff for the district that includes several majority black neighborhoods.
Also in Miami-Dade, Daisy Black won re-election as mayor of the small village of El Portal, defeating former mayor Joyce Davis and Teresa Sanchez making her first bid for office.
In Broward, for the Florida Senate, Democratic incumbent Christopher “Chris” Smith defeated Christopher “Chris” Smithmeyer for District 31.
For the State House, Democrat Perry Thurston easily defeated Scott Herman for the District 94 seat.
For sheriff, Democrat Scott Israel staged an upset win over incumbent Republican Al Lamberti.
For state attorney, incumbent Mike Satz, a Democrat, defeated Jim Lewis, a Republican.
For the county commission, Dale V.C. Holness took almost all the votes against a write-in candidate to remain in the District 9 seat.
For the school board, Roslyn Osgood defeated Torey Alston for the District 5 seat but Barbara Houston Wilson lost to incumbent Robin Bartleman for the at-large District 9 seat.
For the Lauderdale Lakes City Commission, Barrington A. Russell defeated Willie Edward James for mayor, Patricia Williams defeated Larnieve O’Shaun Uter-Sasso for Seat 4 and Eileen Rathery defeated Benjamin “Ben” Williams and Sandra “Sandy” Davey for Seat 6.
For the Lauderhill City Commission, Howard Berger defeated Richard C. Campbell, Tyson T. Jones and Gwen Hudson for Seat 1 and M. Margaret Bates retained Seat 3, defeating Mae Smith.
For judgeships, Hollywood attorney Roshawn Banks lost to incumbent County Court Judge Robert F. “Bob” Diaz.
Voters also faced a daunting list of local and state ballot initiatives Tuesday.
At the state level, Floridians voted to retain three Supreme Court justices targeted by the Republican Party for removal: Fred Lewis, Barbara J. Pariente and Peggy A. Quince.
Voters across the state also rejected all but three of 11 constitutional amendments proposed entirely by the Republican-dominated Legislature.
Voters approved Amendment 2, giving additional homestead exemption for disabled veterans who did not live in Florida when they joined the military, as well as Amendment 9, which provides additional homestead exemption for the spouse of a veteran or first responder killed in the line of duty, and Amendment 11, which allows local governments to grant tax exemption equal to the value of a home for poor seniors living in the same home for 25 years.
At the local level, Miami-Dade voters also faced 11 ballot questions. Most of the proposed county charter amendments won approval, including term limits for county commissioners, restrictions on development outside of the urban development boundary and a bond issue to fund the modernization and construction of public school facilities in Palm Beach County, voters approved a ballot initiative allowing slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities, and another authorizing the county to grant tax exemptions to businesses that create jobs.
In Mangonia Park, however, voters defeated a ballot measure that would have prohibited relatives of town officials from serving as town officers or employees.
*Pictured above is judicial candidate Roshawn Banks.