The Latest: Franklin beats US Rep. Spano in Fla. GOP primary

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 primary elections (all times local):

9:40 p.m.

Florida Lakeland City Commissioner Scott Franklin defeated U.S. Rep. Ross Spano in a Republican primary in Florida on Tuesday.

Franklin is a former Navy pilot and insurance business owner who challenged Spano because of ethics issues that have dogged him since being elected two years ago.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Spano for alleged campaign finance violations. The House Ethics Committee was looking into allegations that Spano borrowed more than $100,000 from two friends and then loaned the money to his campaign. But it paused the review when the criminal investigation began.

Franklin said during the campaign that he doesn’t disagree with Spano on policy, but his decision to run was based on questions about Spano’s ethics.

“Politically, ideologically we’re pretty close on the issues, but with the ethics and the investigations hanging over him it just really made the seat vulnerable, and that was my concern,” Franklin said. “This has been a conservative, strong conservative seat, for decades and I was fearful of that seat being flipped in November.”

District 15 sits east of Tampa in central Florida. Franklin’s victory may give Republicans a better chance at winning in November. The district has traditionally voted Republican. Democrats were largely targeting Spano and hoped the ethics cloud hanging over him would give them a chance to flip the seat.

Spano is a lawyer who was elected to the state House in 2012 and served until he was elected to Congress in 2018.


9:20 p.m.

Kat Cammack has won the GOP primary for the Florida congressional seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho.

The 32-year-old Cammack owns a political consulting firm and previously served as Yoho’s deputy chief of staff and his former campaign manager. She prominently featured her connection to Yoho during the campaign.

Cammack beat a Republican field of 10 candidates and is likely to be the next member of Congress for District 3, a firmly Republican north Florida district that runs from Ocala to just south of Jacksonville.

Yoho opted not to seek reelection after four terms in Congress. A supporter of term limits, he stuck to an original campaign pledge to serve only eight years. In each of his four elections, he easily beat his Democratic opponents.

Cammack will face Democrat Adam Christensen, Philip Dodds or Tom Wells in November.

Categories: National & International News