Florida Republicans unseat Rep. Ross Spano, nominate far-right activist Laura Loomer, in GOP primaries

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  • Ross Spano
    U.S. Representative from Florida
  • Donald Trump
    Donald Trump
    45th President of the United States
  • Laura Loomer
    American far-right activist

Republicans in Florida's 15th Congressional District chose Scott Franklin, a Lakeland city commissioner, as their nominee in Tuesday's primary election, unseating freshman Rep. Ross Spano (R-Fla.), currently under federal investigation for alleged campaign finance violations. Spano is the eighth House incumbent defeated in a primary this year — joining four Republicans and three Democrats. That's twice the incumbents unseated in 2018 and the highest number since the post-Watergate 1974 primary season, Politico notes.

Democrats, who nominated former TV journalist Alan Cohn as their nominee, had targeted the traditionally Republican district, though Spano's defeat dimmed their chances.

Republicans in Florida's 21st District, home to President Trump, selected conservative personality and activist Laura Loomer in a six-way race to challenge Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) in a safely Democratic seat. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who also endorsed Franklin, had backed Loomer and congratulated her on her win. So did Trump.

Gaetz, who won his own primary, got a third win when his candidate Anna Paulina Luna, an Air Force Veteran, won the GOP primary in Florida's 13th District, beating lobbyist Amanda Makki, the candidate backed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other GOP leaders. Luna will challenge Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) in November.

Kat Cammack, former chief of staff to outgoing Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), won a 10-way primary to replace him in Florida's solidly red 3rd District. Miami-Lade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, meanwhile, won the GOP primary in Florida's more competitive 26th District and will take on first-term Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) in November.

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