The Race is (Already) on for the Upcoming 2018 Elections

By: Andrew Wiggins

Florida’s next election cycle is going to be a busy, with our state set to elect a new governor and Cabinet, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson running for re-election and lots of seats opening up in the state House and Senate. Then there is the possibility of numerous constitutional amendments on the ballot, with the Constitutional Revision Commission currently traveling the state seeking public input before voting on which amendments to add.

Term limits add to the chaos during every election, and have forever changed how campaigns are run. Term limits also have an impact on when candidates decide to run. In a world of term limits, when an office opens up the scurry begins as plans years in the making are finally put into action. We often find candidates waiting patiently, quietly building support behind the scenes and biding their time, only to launch full-force once the office is open.

Qualifying for the 2018 election is 14 months away, yet already the race is on to fill 21 open state House seats and three in the state Senate. Term limits create open seats, as do open seats in the Senate, on the Cabinet and back at home. We find members of the House consider leaving their term early and members of the Senate do the same. Looking at the open seats in the House and Senate, we see candidates have already filed to run for the three soon-vacant spots in the Senate. In the House, only three of the 21 to-be-open seats do not have any candidates filed to run in the 2018 elections. Also in the House, there are only four incumbents who have not filed for re-election.

The bottom line is this: the race is on. All that remains is to buckle up and hang on.

As always, the Florida Chamber of Commerce will be watching and will keep you informed.

Keep in touch with us by sending me an email at awiggins@flchamber.com.