On November 8, 2016, Florida will elect one new member of the US Senate. The Incumbent, Marco Rubio (R), sought the Presidential nomination and was unsuccessful. Initially, Rubio planned on leaving the seat open but with a change of heart, Rubio has decided to seek re-election.
On his side of the aisle, Rubio will be running against Ernie Rivera, Carlos Beruff, Dwight Mark Anthony Young, and a write-in candidate, Howard Knepper, in the Republican primary election. There were several additional Republican candidates on the ballot until they withdrew upon Rubio's announcement that he would seek reelection. On the Democrats' side, Patrick Murphy, Alan Grayson, Pam Keith, Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, and Reginald Luster will vie for the nomination. There are also 11 independent candidates on the ballot.
The primary elections will be held on August 30, although absentee ballots have already been sent out. I filled out my first primary local elections ballot today. While researching the candidates for Rubio's senate seat, I realized how important local elections are. The platforms are tailor-made by the candidates and their teams for the state of Florida. For example, each candidate emphasized their views on climate change on their site. For Florida, a state surrounded by water on three sides, the environment is very important.
That's why local elections anywhere are so important. The people that we elect will represent the state of Florida and, ideally, do everything they can to make our concerns heard at the national level and enact change at the state level. Too often voter turnout is minimal during local elections. The media seems to only care about and cover national elections, particularly this year's pivotal Presidential election but it is important to remember our jobs as voters. We must vote at the local level, as well.