U.S. Rep. John Mica got a big boost toward retaining his seat in Congress for the 12th time, with a blowout win in the Republican primary for the District 7 seat. He won with 72.15 percent of the vote, with David Smith earning 18.7 percent, Don Oehlrich getting 5.14 percent and Kelly Shirley grabbing 4.02 percent, with more than 40,000 votes cast.
“It’s an incredible win,” Mica said. “Far greater than we expected...We were outspent, but we weren’t outworked.”
A race for Orange County’s District 1 School Board seat came down to less than 100 votes, with Joie Cadle getting 50.32 percent of the vote and retaining her seat over challenger Joshua Katz.
"This campaign, from the beginning, was about being the voice for the parents, the teachers and the students in education, because that's the voice that's not heard. No matter what the results of the election, that's the voice that still needs to be heard. That's what everyone is fighting for. It doesn't matter who wins; whoever is in that board seat has to be held accountable, because the education of students belongs to the students," Katz said.
Daryl Flynn retained her District 2 seat with 63.6 percent of the vote. Nobody won a majority in the District 3 race, with Linda Kobert leading with 43.99 percent. Regina Hellinger, who received 26.4 percent, will challenge her in a November runoff.
A half-penny sales tax for schools passed with 63.95 percent of the vote. A vote mandating paid sick time for companies with 15 employees or more passed with 63.86 percent of the vote, though it was effectively nullified by Gov. Rick Scott last year.
In the governor’s race the two most talked about candidates also easily won their primaries, with Gov. Rick Scott winning the Republican nomination for re-election with 87.7 percent and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist winning his primary over Nan Rich with 74.29 percent of the vote.
In a slew of Circuit 9 judgeship races, Kim Shepard won Group 10 with 60.06 percent. Margaret Schreiber won Group 12 with 66.71 percent. Elaine Barbour won Group 18 with 69.2 percent. Kevin B. Weiss won Group 30 with 79.53 percent. Diana Tennis defeated Patricia Strowbridge in Group 32 by a margin of less than 3 percent. Heather Pinder Rodriguez won Group 33 with 62.01 percent. Janet C. Thorpe won Group 35 with 69.85 percent. Scott Polodna won Group 37 with 63.75 percent.
Tina Caraballo is headed for a runoff for the Orange County Judge Group 10 seat against Ken Barlow. Brian Duckworth won Group 15 with 64.98 percent.
— Sarah Wilson and Megan Elliott contributed to this report.