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Upset Primary Win In Florida House District-1

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Florida’s state House District-1 is getting a new face in Tallahassee, as the race is set for the seat is set for Nov. 3.

Newcomer Michelle Salzman defeated incumbent Mike Hill in Tuesday’s Republican primary, 53-47% in what some are calling a major upset.

“I wouldn’t call it an upset; I would call it a victory for Northwest Florida,” Salzman said. “I certainly did not do this on my own. I’m very grateful and humbled and I’m looking forward to running a nice, clean campaign for the general [election].”

The campaign was a rowdy one from Hill’s side, accusing Salzman of, among other things, calling for the defunding of police in the wake of the George Floyd killing. Salzman denied the allegation, and said she expected those tactics.

“I certainly anticipated all of the negative mailers; we anticipated the lies, and it was actually a part of why I decided to run,” said Salzman. “Because I really felt we were missing that integrity piece in Tallahassee, and I really just wanted to do something for the people.”

Awaiting Salzman on Nov. 3 is Democratic nominee Franscine Mathis.

“I have looked into some of the things [Mathis] has focused on, and we actually had a conversation while waving at Stefani [Road] during early voting,” Salzman said. “So, I’m familiar with some of the things that she would like to do.”

Credit Univ. of Florida
State Rep. Alex Andrade.

If elected, Salzman boils down her to-do list at the Statehouse to three words: safety, infrastructure and education. And she’ll be seeking guidance.

“What we’re going to do in the next couple of months is host some town halls and send out some surveys to all of the constituents in District-1,” said Salzman. “And ask them what they want and need [me] to do in Tallahassee.”

“First and foremost, I’m excited to actually have a general election, where I can actually discuss philosophical difference from two very different viewpoints,” said State House Dist. 2 incumbent Alex Andrade, who won the GOP nomination with 61 percent over Chris Dosev, in what’s considered the most rancorous campaigns of 2020.

“So I’m actually excited to conversations and discussions and try to win hearts and minds,” said Andrade, who faces Democratic challenger Diane Krumel in November.

Meanwhile, on the day after voters sent to the polls, Florida’s 67 canvassing boards are at work to make the number official.

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.