Election 2020: Local key races, amendments

Posted at 8:32 AM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 10:22:49-05

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.

Key Races

In Hillsborough County, races include:

  • State Attorney: 13th Judicial Circuit
  • Property Appraiser
  • Sheriff
  • 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.

2 Hillsborough Co. Commissioners go head-to-head for same district after 1 reached term limit

Click here to see the candidate profiles for every Hillsborough County race

In Pinellas County, races include:

  • Property Appraiser
  • Sheriff
  • 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.

Pinellas County voters could predict who wins the White House

“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.

Click here to see the candidate profiles for every Pinellas County race

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.

Anna Paulina Luna challenges Charlie Crist for US House of Representatives District 13

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.

Click here to see the candidate profiles for all Tampa Bay area congressional districts

Florida Amendments

There are six consequential amendments on the ballot Tuesday.

  • 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.

'This is the worst time possible to do something like this' say business owner against Amendment 2

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.

Everything you need to know about Amendment 3 and the choice to change Florida’s elections

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.

Click here for a full breakdown of all six amendments and what your "yes" or "no" really means