The voters of Florida have spoken: the House was flipped. Blue Floridians are celebrating the Democratic party taking back control from the GOP in the House, who had been in charge since the Tea Party movement in 2010. Preventing the Republican Party from revoking the Affordable Care Act and prioritizing policies that the Democrats would utterly disapprove of sounded like music to blue ears. Meanwhile, red Floridians are celebrating their own wins: keeping control of the Senate, by flipping their senator seat from blue to red, and winning one of the most heated Governor races in the state’s history.
Florida polls saw an unprecedented and record-breaking attendance from its residents, giving the nation a piece of their mind. Although Republicans Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis’ triumph came as a shock to many, with their wins lying within a margin of 1% of the vote, it revealed just how divided Florida’s political stances can be. Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum, who was projected to beat DeSantis and become the state’s first African American governor, addressed his supporters during his concession speech at Florida A&M University:
“I sincerely regret that I couldn’t bring it home for you,” Gillum said.
With so much at stake, this year’s Midterm elections brought upon a lot of stress across the aisle, but it also brought major milestones as it set records for women who will serve in Congress. Out of the 585 congressional seats that were up for grabs, 117 have been won by women with 96 belonging to the House, 12 belonging to the Senate, and 9 winning seats for Governor – the most we’ve ever had. Two of those seats belong to Florida Democrat Debbi Mucarsel-Powell, an immigrant from Ecuador whose campaign focused on health care and education, and Donna Shalala, who defeated Miamian journalist Maria Elvira Salazar in a predominately Republican district. There were other remarkable wins last night: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over at the east coast, Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan). Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest member elected to Congress at 29, while Omar and Tlaib went down in United States history as the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress.
“Here in Minnesota it’s a cold state, but the people have warm hearts. We don’t just welcome immigrants, but we send them to Washington,” Omar said to CBS News.
Another highlight of the night was the approval granted to veteran soccer player and President of Inter Miami CF David Beckham to build a soccer stadium for a future, and imminent, MLS team; the stadium is said to bring millions of dollars and numerous job opportunities to the city of Miami. As far as Amendment results are concerned, 11 out of 12 were a “yes” – not too shabby. Amendment 1 fell short on votes because it didn’t meet the 60 percent supermajority vote, meaning the Homestead Exemption Increase didn’t make the cut. However, Amendment 4 passed with 62 percent of the vote, being a key ballot proposal regarding felons’ voter rights. This amendment now allows 1.5 million released Florida felons to vote in upcoming elections, which is predicted to have a huge effect in the 2020 election.
The 2018 Midterm Elections have finally come to a close, but that is not to say our duty is over. We shall continue to fight for what we believe is right for the country and prepare for the madness of the 2020 election.
by Cynthia Paola Bautista