TAMPA, Fla. — Election Day 2020 is here, we're breaking down key races to watch in the Tampa Bay area and the six amendments on the ballot for Florida.
In Hillsborough County, races include:
- State Attorney: 13th Judicial Circuit
- Property Appraiser
- Tax Collector
- Board of County Commissioners — Districts 1, 3 & 6
- School Board Member — District 1, 3,5 & 7
- Soil and Water Conservation — District groups 2 and 4
Sheriff Chad Chronister was appointed in 2017 and hopes to keep his position. His opponents are Independent Ron McMullen and Democrat Gary Pruitt.
Two Hillsborough County Commissioners are going head-to-head for District 6 after one reached their 10-year term limit for another district.
In Pinellas County, races include:
- Property Appraiser
- Tax Collector
- Supervisor of Elections
- Board of County Commissioners — Districts 1, 3 & 7
- School Board Member — Districts 1 & 7
The race for sheriff in Pinellas is also a race to watch, with Republican Sheriff Bob Gualtieri facing Democratic opponent Eliseo Santana.
Pinellas is one of four pivot counties in Florida, which means voter turnout can sway the Election. The county has picked the winner of every presidential race since 1980 except one.
The county voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, then they voted for Trump in 2016. Trump won the county by a thin margin of 1.11% or 5,500 votes out of nearly 487,000 cast.
“It goes from Democrat to Republican depending on the election and that’s what makes it so intriguing,” said Dr. Susan MacManus, ABC Action News Political Analyst.
According to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus, there is only a difference of about 5,000 registered Democrats and Republicans, making it a snapshot of the entire country.
U.S. House of Representatives
All 27 congressional seats are up for election in Florida.
Locally, a race of note is the District 13 seat which includes St. Petersburg, Largo and Clearwater. Democratic incumbent Charlie Crist is being challenged by Republican Anna Paulina Luna.
Crist has served as a State Senator, Commissioner of Education, Attorney General and Florida's 44th governor.
Luna spent six years in the military, including five on active duty, after joining the Air Force at 19. President Donald Trump endorsed Luna on Twitter in August.
Great WIN Anna! Watched your race from beginning, very impressed. Your next opponent, Charlie Crist, is a Pelosi puppet who is bad on Crime, our Military, Vets, & 2nd Amendment. You have my Complete & Total Endorsement! https://t.co/PLdW3VXNTI— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2020
- Amendment 1: Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections
- Amendment 2: Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage
- Amendment 3: All Voters Vote in Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet
- Amendment 4: Voter Approval of Constitutional Amendments
- Amendment 5: Limitations on Homestead Property Tax Assessments; increased portability period to transfer accrued benefit
- Amendment 6: Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities
Amendment 2 and Amendment 3 are two of the big talkers of the six.
Amendment 2 would gradually raise the minimum wage in Florida to $15 an hour. ABC Action News spoke to local business owners in September who said the change would be devastating to businesses trying to recover from the pandemic.
Amendment 3 would drastically change state elections and the strength of your vote. ABC Action News went Full Circle to cover all sides of the amendment and what it would really change for Florida voters.
For an amendment to pass, it requires a 60% majority vote. Amendment 4 on the ballot would change this and require the vote to pass 60% of voters in two elections in a row.