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Races to Watch in Today's Florida Primaries

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Rep. Connie Mack IV is not among the most impressive Senate candidates, but given that all his serious primary opponents have dropped out, the Republican should post an impressive win today in Florida.

Florida voters go to the polls today to choose nominees in House and Senate races.

The top primaries to watch tonight include the 7th district, where Republican Reps. Sandy Adams and John Mica face off; the 9th district, where former Rep. Alan Grayson (D) and his allies have put money behind pushing voters toward a GOP nominee who will be less competitive in the general election; and the 26th district, where Democrats will choose their nominee to take on vulnerable Rep. David Rivera (R).

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

Senate

Rep. Connie Mack IV (R) is not among the most impressive Senate candidates, but given that all his serious primary opponents have dropped out, he should post an impressive win today. The long shots are former Rep. Dave Weldon, retired Army Col. Mike McCalister and activist Marielena Stuart. How much beyond 50 percent of the vote Mack garners could prove instructive heading into the November matchup against Sen. Bill Nelson (D). The two-term Senator also faces a nominal challenge from one candidate.

House

2nd District

National Democrats had big hopes for folksy farmer and state Rep. Leonard Bembry, believing he could take out freshman Rep. Steve Southerland (R). Now Bembry, who was endorsed by the conservative Democratic Blue Dog PAC, looks very likely to lose the Democratic primary against affable former state Sen. Al Lawson. Though he represented most of the counties in the district during his state legislative career, Lawson would be a considerable underdog to win the district. His victory could well take the seat out of play for November.

6th District

The winner of the GOP primary is almost certain to be the new Congressman from this comfortably Republican coastal district. And, during the past weeks, it's appeared more and more likely that the GOP nominee will be Ron DeSantis, a retired Navy JAG officer and current Navy reservist. DeSantis, an impressive fundraiser who has racked up a series of potent conservative endorsements, faces six primary opponents. They include former Ruth's Chris CEO Craig Miller, Jacksonville City Councilman Richard Clark and state Rep. Fred Costello. DeSantis aides are cautiously optimistic about tonight's results, having seen consistent polling with their candidate well ahead of his competitors.

7th District

Rep. John Mica, chairman of the powerful Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, appears poised to beat tea-party-affiliated freshman Rep. Sandy Adams in what is perhaps today's most-watched primary.

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