2018 Primary Election: Snapshots of the top races in Palm Beach County, Treasure Coast

Posted: 1:38 PM, Aug 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-28 18:04:22Z
Snapshots: Top races in Aug. 28 primary election

Here's a look at the top races that voters in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast will decide on Aug. 28.

MORE:¬†Snapshot of the top races in Palm Beach Co., Treasure Coast  | Election Results starting at 7 p.m.  | Check your voter status, polling place


Democrats are looking to win the governor's office for the first time in twenty years. Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham has the best name recognition as the daughter of former governor and Senator Bob Graham.  She's emphasized that she's the only mom in the race.

Philip Levine is a multi-millionaire who has highlighted his work as the former mayor of Miami Beach. Watch Levine's appearance on To the Point.

Jeff Greene is a billionaire from Palm Beach who argues he's the best one to stand up to President Trump and his policies. Watch Greene's appearance on To the Point.

Andrew Gillum is the mayor of Tallahassee and likes to point out he's the only candidate who doesn't have personal or family money to pay for his campaign. Watch Gillum's appearance on To the Point.

Chris King is a businessman from Central Florida who has emphasized creating jobs. Watch King's appearance on To the Point.

In the Republican race for governor, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam was considered the front-runner to succeed Rick Scott. But when U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis received the endorsement from President Trump, the scale tipped in favor of DeSantis. While Putnam has the support of Republican Party officials, Trump has come to Florida to campaign for DeSantis. Watch Putnam's appearance on To the Point.

U.S. Senate

Gov. Rick Scott easily won the Republican primary in the senate race, defeating Roque De La Fuente, who has run for a number of offices.  Now we're set for the showdown against Democrat, Sen. Bill Nelson, and they're already running ads against each other.

Attorney General

In the race for Attorney General, the Democrats have the choice between two attorneys from Tampa. Sean Shaw is a state representative and Ryan Torrens runs his own law firm.

Shaw received endorsements from many Democratic Party officials. On the Friday before the election a judge in Tallahassee ruled Torrens acted improperly in qualifying for the election and should be removed from the ballot. Torrens is appealing the ruling.

The Republicans have two candidates to choose from to replace Pam Bondi as Attorney General. Former Tampa judge Ashley Moody has the endorsement of Bondi and other state Republican leaders. State Rep. Frank White is from Pensacola and a lawyer for an automotive chain owned by his family

Agricultural Commissioner

Three Democrats are in the contest for agriculture commissioner.

Nicole Fried is from Fort Lauderdale and works as a lobbyist for the Broward County School District. She made news when Wells Fargo closed her campaign account because she received campaign contributions from the medical marijuana industry.

Jeffrey Porter is the mayor of Homestead.

Roy Walker is from Plant City and is president of the South Florida Audubon Society. 

There are four Republicans trying to follow Adam Putnam as agriculture commissioner.

Matt Caldwell is a state representative from Fort Myers, who also got the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.

Denise Grimsley is a state senator from Sebring and the vice president of a hospital in that area.

Mike McCalister is a former U.S. Army colonel.

Baxter Troutman is a former state representative from Winter Haven.

U.S. House

District 18

Two Democrats are running for Congress in District 18, that covers Martin, St. Lucie and part of Palm Beach County.

Lauren Baer is running for office for the first time. She's a lawyer who worked in the state department in the Obama administration. She is part of the Baer family that owns the Baer's Furniture stores. Watch Baer's appearance on To the Point.

Pam Keith is a lawyer who was a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander in the judge advocate general's corps. She's also worked as a civil attorney and ran for the U.S. Senate two years ago. Watch Keith's appearance on To the Point.

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast is running for reelection in District 18. Watch Mast's appearance on To the Point.

Dave Cummings is a real estate investor and running for office for the first time. Watch Cummings' appearance on To the Point.

Mark Freeman is a physician who ran for Congress in this district two years ago. Watch Freeman's appearance on To the Point.

Both Cummings and Freeman criticized Mast for calling for a ban on military style assault weapons after the Parkland shootings.

Watch all of the District 18 candidates debate on WPTV.

District 20

Democratic U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings is seeking his 14th term in the District 20 that covers much of the southern half of Palm Beach County. 

His opponent is Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, the CEO of a home health care business, who said Hastings has lost touch with the community.

The winner of this race will likely be going to Washington as there is only a write-in candidate in the general election.

District 22

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch is running for reelection in District 22, which includes the southern end of Palm Beach County. Watch Deutch's appearance on To the Point.

His opponent Jeff Fandl is a computer professional from Coconut Creek.

This district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Deutch is a longtime gun control advocate and called for banning assault weapons. Fandl supports banning assault weapons and wants more emphasis placed on mental health care.

The Republicans running in District 22 include Javier Manjarres who was endorsed by Sen. Marco Rubio. He runs a conservative political website.

Eddison Walters is an NRA member who strongly opposes gun control.

Nicolas Kimaz supports arming teachers and opposes a ban on assault rifles.

State Senate

One of the biggest local races is the contest for the Republican state senate to replace Joe Negron. State Representative Gayle Harrell and Belinda Keiser have been running ads on TV and the internet.

This district covers St. Lucie, Martin and part of Palm Beach County.

Harrell has been in the state house for sixteen years and was endorsed by Negron

Keiser is the vice chancellor of Keiser University and is married to Arthur Keiser, who helped found the university. She was endorsed by the NRA and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The winner will face Democrat Robert Levy in the general election.

Democrat State Sen. Bobby Powell is looking to win reelection in the district that covers much of central Palm Beach County.  He's an urban planner who previously served in the State House for four years.

His challenger is Rubin Anderson, a teacher and a pastor. He's running for the first time and says he would be a new voice in Tallahassee. 

Martin County

In Martin County, voters are being asked whether they want to raise taxes for the school system. The question on the ballot asked if they want to increase property taxes by a half a millage point that would raise about $11 million annually that would be used for paying teachers and improving security at schools.

A significant race in Martin County is for the County Commission in District 4. Sarah Heard has been a commissioner for 16 years and she's running for reelection. But she's been charged with violating public records laws. 

Harold Markey is a longtime county employee who has talked about restoring trust in government.

Niki Norton is a small business owner who has long been involved in community activities.

Butch Olsen is a fisherman whose expertise is in the algae water problems.

There are no Democrats in this race.

Boca Raton

In Boca Raton they're selecting a new mayor to fill the term of suspended Mayor Susan Haynie.

Scott Singer has been the acting mayor. One of the big issues in the city is growth, and he says he's in favor of reasonable growth. Watch Singer's appearance on To the Point.

His main opponent is Al Zucaro, a former West Palm Beach city commissioner whoe argues the city is being overdeveloped. Zucaro ran for mayor in 2017 and lost to Haynie.

Candidate Bernard Korn said he wanted to establish an anti-corruption task force.