The former Republican governor of Florida easily won a Democratic primary Tuesday to take on his GOP successor, in one of the more tangled political face-offs in recent memory.
At one time a potential Republican vice presidential pick, Charlie Crist has now become the Democrats' official pick to try to prevent GOP Gov. Rick Scott's re-election in the Sunshine State. Crist switched parties after losing a 2010 Senate race.
His primary win now moves the race in that crucial swing state into high gear.
In the 26th Congressional District, Rep. Joe Garcia, a Democrat who has faced scandal and is thought to be vulnerable in his re-election bid, might be nervous about the outcome of the Republican primary Tuesday. GOP voters chose the party's favored candidate, Carlos Curbelo, a member of the Miami-Dade School Board with deep political connections in Florida and Washington, D.C.
State Treasurer Doug Ducey, former CEO of the ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery, won the Republican nomination for governor, besting a competitive field vying to succeed Gov. Jan Brewer. Ducey will now face Democrat Fred DuVal in what is expected to be a competitive match-up.
Meanwhile, State House Speaker Andy Tobin and Gary Kiehne, a rancher, were locked in a too-close-to-call Republican primary to face Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who Republicans have targeted as one of the vulnerable House Democratic incumbents this cycle. The GOP will likely have its best chance to unseat Kirkpatrick should Tobin advance to the general election.
The primary run-off could have been much more heated had Rep. James Lankford failed to win his primary for Senate outright earlier this year. But Lankford locked up the nomination, leaving just a few minor races to be decided Tuesday. In one, Democrats selected state Sen. Connie Johnson to face off against Lankford for what is considered a safe Republican seat in the Senate. Republicans also decided the race to fill Lankford's seat in Congress, also considered safely Republican, choosing state Sen. Steve Russell, a military veteran, with 59 percent of the vote.