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Republican Official Talks Primary Results

Florida GOP


Martin Simmons had a busy day Tuesday. He’s the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida for Congressional District One. He likes to talk about the history of the district. "The last time an incumbent lost running for reelection to the US House from this district was 1934".

That will not be the case this November as there will be no incumbent in the race for the seat because Congressman Jeff Miller announced his retirement earlier this year. Florida House District 4 representative Matt Gaetz won the republican primary to replace Miller. Martin Simmons says there will be a difference in styles if Gaetz replaces Miller in Washington. "What Jeff Miller has done since 2001 is (make) sure quietly, which is Jeff Miller's style, quietly make sure that the strong military presence stays strong in northwest Florida. Matt Gaetz will absolutely continue that. Matt Gaetz is going to be a lot more out front, a lot more bold. He's certainly aggressive like that, in a positive way. So what Jeff had in years of experience and age, Matt will make up for in being bold. And Matt can be in your face when it comes to defending what he believes in."

Gaetz, who is the son of outgoing state senator Don Gaetz, will now face Democratic candidate Steven Specht in November. Simmons says if Gaetz wins, he’ll go to Washington with a combination of experience and youth. "That's a unique combination because rarely do you have somebody who is relatively young but actually has the experience that he has. And he's been in his dad's footsteps and in his dad's campaigns and offices, he's understood how it works since he was a kid."

Taking a look at other races, Simmons was happy Marco Rubio decided to run for reelection. Rubio easily won his primary and will face Democrat Patrick Murphy in November. In an interview with CNN on Monday, Rubio would not commit to serving his entire six year term if he is reelected. As far as Martin Simmons is concerned, Rubio is smart to keep his options open. "Let's just say Hillary wins. Well I would love for Marco to try it again in four years. Or if Donald Trump only wants it for four years and doesn't run for (reelection)...Marco could jump in there."

Locally, Simmons thought Doug Broxson did very well against fellow Republican House member Mike Hill in their district one state senate race. "I was surprised that one wasn't closer then it was. So many people were predicting it was going to be close." And in the Florida house race in district 3, Simmons was also impressed with J. Walter Huston’s showing against winner Jayer Williamson. "It was not a surprise that (Jayer) won, but what was a surprise is how well his opponent did considering (he) didn't make much of a splash, didn't have much of a campaign or many signs. I never met him and I'm the Republican Party chairman.

Both Williamson and Broxson have no opponent in November, so they have won their seats. Again, Martin Simmons is the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida for Congressional District One. And speaking of that congressional seat, Simmons says "The Republican Party we're going to hold that seat."

We'll all find out in a couple of months.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.