6 SWFL lawmakers running unopposed in upcoming Florida House, Senate elections

Published: July 12, 2022 5:20 PM EDT
Updated: July 12, 2022 5:31 PM EDT

There are no challengers in sight for six Republicans in Florida House and Senate races here in Southwest Florida.

The Southwest Florida lawmakers running unopposed are:

  • Naples Republican Senator Kathleen Passidomo
  • Port Charlotte Republican Representative Michael Grant
  • North Fort Myers Republican Representative Spencer Roach
  • Cape Coral Republican Representative Michael Giallombardo
  • Naples Republican Representative Bob Rommel
  • Naples Republican Representative Lauren Melo

“If you’re a Democrat, you’re gonna see very few candidates on the ballot,” said Frank Schwerin, chairman of the Collier County Republicans.

Schwerin is right. Locally, Democrats are conceding race after race.

UCF political scientist Aubrey Jewett said there are lots of reasons why, but he narrowed it down to four.

“One, because we’ve had redistricting and you have a lot of districts that are favoring Republicans,” said Jewett.

That is not a huge factor in Southwest Florida but it is statewide. In all, 56 republicans are on the ballot unopposed.

Jewett said reason number two is because of the president. Joe Biden’s approval rating is below 40% and sinking. Democrats all over the country, and especially in Florida, are paying for it.

“I suspect if they were being honest, they would point out to some of these factors,” said Jewett.

That trickles down to reason number three, incumbency.

“In most of these races where Democrats aren’t feeling a candidate, not all but in many, there are republican incumbents,” Jewett said.

Jewett said that translates to a hard time fielding Democratic candidates.

His fourth reason behind the lack of Democrats in the upcoming election is money.
Republicans have it and Democrats don’t.

“Because of all these other things I’m talking about, Democrats are going to have a more difficult time raising money and being competitive,” said Jewett.

“They can’t afford to lose any more seats, because the majorities are so big in the Florida legislature,” said Schwerin.

WINK News reached out to every prominent Democrat in Southwest Florida in hopes of including them in this story.

WINK News reached out to candidates for governor Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried, Senate candidate Val Demings, the man in charge of the Democratic party statewide, the party’s leaders in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties, and none of them responded.

The GOP says for the first time, Republicans outnumber Democrats by 200,000 registered voters.

In Florida, two Senate Democrats are running unopposed and six Democrats in the Florida House are running unopposed.