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North Florida Congressmen Easily Win in GOP Primaries

August 25, 2014 - 6:00pm
While several Republican congressmen from North Florida faced primary challenges on Tuesday, all of them easily kept their seats.

Out in the Panhandle, U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., easily bested primary challenger John Krause in Tuesdays primary. With more than 63 percent of votes in, Miller had 76.3 percent and Krause 23.7 percent.

In the general election, Miller will face businessman Jim Byran, who has the Democratic nomination, and businessman Mark Wichern who is running with no party affiliation. This Panhandle district is a Republican stronghold, making Miller a heavy favorite come November.

Out in North Central Florida, freshman U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., made sure lightning did not strike twice. Having upset 24-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., in the 2012 primary, Yoho made it two in a row as he easily beat attorney Jake Rush. With 75.7 percent of the vote in, Yoho had 79.3 percent of the vote with Rush taking 20.7 percent. Rush had been aggressive, hitting Yoho on a number of fronts, but he never recovered from stories and photos showcasing his role-playing hobby that made national headlines.

Yoho faces Democratic candidate Marihelen Wheeler and term limits activist Howard Wheeler, who is running with no party affiliation, in the general election. This is a solidly Republican district and is not expected to be competitive in November.

Over on the First Coast, U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., continued his winning ways.

With 98 percent of precincts in, Crenshaw beat back a spirited Republican primary challenge from retired Navy Capt. Ryman Shoaf. Crenshaw took more than 71 percent of the vote while Shoaf took less than 29 percent of the vote.

Crenshaw should be secure in November though he does face challenges from two candidates with no party affiliation: Gary Koniz and Paula Moser-Bartlett. Deb Pueschel will be running as a write-in candidate. With no Democratic challengers, Crenshaw should easily hold on to his congressional seat which he first won in 2000.

U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., also easily kept his seat in Tuesdays primary.

With more than 97 percent of the vote in, Mica took more than 72 percent while his closest opponent, David Smith, took 18.7 percent. Don Oehlrich stood in third with 5.1 percent and Kelly Shirley lagged behind with 4 percent.

Mica will be a heavy favorite in November over Democrat Wes Neuman and Al Krulick, who is running with no party affiliation, in this secure Republican district.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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