CBS News projects thatDemocrats on Tuesday chose Rep. Charlie Crist, a former Republican and ex-governor of the state to go up against powerful incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to try to win back his old job. They also supported Rep. Val Demings to take on Sen. Marco Rubio in November.
And in one of, for the 12th District, CBS News projected Rep. Jerry Nadler won the Democratic primary. The district is a safe Democratic seat, and the winner of the primary will likely be elected in November.
In the redistricting map, the Upper West Side and Upper East Side were joined into one district, pitting two members of Congress with 30 years experience up against each other, Nadler and Rep..
In another district upended by redistricting, CBS News had not projected a winner yet as of early Wednesday in New York’s 10th Congressional District. Dan Goldman, who served as a lawyer for House Democrats during former President Donald Trump’s impeachment, and Yuh-Line Niou, a New York state Assembly member, led the crowd of candidates, which also included Rep. Mondaire Jones and City Council member Carlina Rivera.
In Florida, CBS News projects Demings has won the Democratic nomination for Senate.
Although Rubio is the favorite to win in November, Demings, a former police chief who was discussed as a possible vice-presidential contender, has outraised Rubio by almost $11 million so far, and has spent $20 million more on advertisements than Rubio.
Demings gave a passionate but brief victory speech Tuesday night in Orlando, where she campaigned on pledges to lower the cost of health care, to protect Social Security and Medicare, abortion rights, voting rights and to bring down gun violence.
“Tonight, we come looking forward,” she said. “It is about holding America to its promise.”
“I dream tonight of an America where every vote matters. My friend and former colleague John Lewis said that the right to vote is precious,” Demigs said. “That is almost sacred. And we have to do everything in our power to protect the right to vote, and when we protect the right to vote, we have to get out and exercise our right to vote. I believe and dream of that America.”
CBS News projects Crist has won the Democratic nomination for governor. Crist served as governor of Florida as a Republican from 2007 until 2011.
But it will be an uphill battle for Crist this time. DeSantis, who is frequently talked about as a 2024 presidential contender, has a massive war chest of $160 million and enjoys widespread popularity.
Crist wasted no time after his primary victory before launching an offensive against DeSantis on Tuesday.
“Governor DeSantis only cares about the White House, he doesn’t care about your house — so don’t be fooled by the DeSantis propaganda machine,” Crist said in his victory speech in St. Petersburg. “He doesn’t promote freedom; he takes freedom away.”
Crist vowed to unite Democrats, Republicans, and independents to stop DeSantis, whom he referred to as “a wannabe dictator.”
“If we work together, stand up to this bully, we will defeat him in November,” Crist said. “Everyone who wants to protect freedom and protect democracy — who is tired of getting screwed by powerful special interests? We need your help.”
Crist called the governor an “abusive bully” who is playing a “dangerous” political game to appeal to “extremists” in the Republican Party as he seeks the 2024 nomination. “He imitates the worst authoritarian leaders on the globe,” Crist said, adding, “this governor couldn’t care less about your freedom.”
Crist said if he’s elected, he will “restore” freedoms that DeSantis is taking away and promised to sign an executive order on Day 1 protecting a woman’s right to choose.
DeSantis and Rubio did not face primary challengers, but they both addressed voters on Tuesday night.
DeSantis had nothing to say about Crist, his Democratic opponent in November. Instead, he went straight to the top, slamming President Joe Biden.
“We will send a message to this man in the White House that we are fighting back against his destructive policies, and Florida will be the vanguard of freedom in this country,” DeSantis said.
He touted his record and the choices he had made during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic that stood in opposition to the guidance of the federal government.
“When we had businesses open, they attacked me,” DeSantis said. “When I made sure people wouldn’t lose their job, they attacked me. They wanted people to lose their job. We’ve seen low unemployment, economic growth, the biggest budget surplus.”
Rubio attacked Democrats over inflation and lambasted the Democratic Party because, he said, it has “abandoned” working-class Americans. If they cared about working people, he said, they wouldn’t have spent all that time debating solar panels and IRS agents, he said.
Unlike DeSantis, he did mention his opponent in November, mocking Demings for casting some House votes by proxy.
The House, Rubio quipped, has become a “work from home” place, and said that Demings had voted in pajamas.
The battle over New York’s new congressional maps caused the primaries for U.S. House and state Senate to be pushed back until August. The final version of the map put several incumbents in the same districts, not just Nadler and Maloney in NY-12.
Nadler and Maloney, two powerful Democrats, have extremely similar voting records, which turned the race into a nasty personality battle.
Nadler’s longtime district, NY-10, had snaked from where he lived on the Upper West Side through Manhattan and a huge chunk in Brooklyn. He chose not to run in the redrawn district, which has more conventional boundaries in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn but excludes his home neighborhood. Instead, he faced Maloney in NY-12.
That left NY-10 as a rare open seat in New York City, leading to a crowded primary that at one point even included former Mayor Bill de Blasio, although he has since dropped out.
Redistricting also led to another nasty battle in Hudson Valley. CBS News projected Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the chair of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, won the primary. Maloney currently represents the 18th District, but one-third of his district was placed in the new 17th, which would pit him up against Rep. Mondaire Jones in the 17th District.
After Maloney announced he would be running in the 17th District, Jones resettled on the 10th District in Brooklyn. But Maloney picked up another challenger from the left, state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi.
In the reverse of New York, Florida has also gained a congressional seat. DeSantis pushed hard for an aggressively gerrymandered map — even more so than the Republican-leaning map by Florida’s legislature, which he vetoed. Under his map, Republicans could gain as many as four seats, with Democratic-leaning seats in the 5th, 7th and 13th Districts likely to flip red, and a new version of the 15th District that is solidly Republican.
Florida’s courts were asked to throw out the map, after one state judge found the elimination of the 5th District unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court decided to not hear a challenge on the maps before the midterm elections.
See below for a list of Tuesday’s races and candidates, which will be updated with the winners.
Zak Hudak, Musadiq Bidar, Lauren Peller, Fritz Farrow and Sarah Ewall-Wice contributed to this report.