BLUE GAINS ASIDE, BUSI­NESS AS USUAL

Tampa Bay Times - - From The Front Page - Kirby Wil­son, Times staff

With Florida po­ten­tially look­ing at weeks of re­counts and le­gal dis­putes, the dust hasn’t quite set­tled on the 2018 elec­tions.

But we do know (roughly) what the Florida Leg­is­la­ture will look like dur­ing the 2019 Leg­isla­tive Ses­sion. De­spite some Demo­cratic gains in the House and Se­nate, both cham­bers will be con­trolled by Repub­li­cans. Democrats picked up at least six seats in the Florida House, with the pos­si­bil­ity of two ad­di­tional net gains if po­ten­tial re­counts in state House Districts 26 and 89 go their way. (The Democrats in those races cur­rently trail by a few dozen votes each.) In all, the party will en­ter the next leg­isla­tive ses­sion with any­where from 47 to 49 state rep­re­sen­ta­tives — at least a dozen shy of an out­right ma­jor­ity. They also may have picked up one state Se­nate seat in the high-pro­file clash be­tween Demo­crat Janet Cruz and Repub­li­can Dana Young for Se­nate District 18 — al­though that race also is headed for a re­count. Should Cruz hold her 355-vote lead, Democrats would con­trol 17 of the cham­ber’s 40 seats. De­spite those gains, both the in­com­ing state House and Se­nate lead­ers say the next ses­sion will likely be busi­ness as usual: Repub­li­cans set­ting the agenda. “For all in­tents and pur­poses, we had 23 go­ing into the cy­cle,” said Se­nate Pres­i­dent-des­ig­nate Bill Gal­vano, R-Braden­ton. “We have come out with 23.”

Janet Cruz

Dana Young

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