Why Voting on Primary Elections Matters?

Judges and County Commissioners are on the ballot.


By: Maria Alejandra Pulgar


Para leer en Español

August 23rd is the day set for the Primary Elections, and the ballots have choices for non-partisan offices along with the party races. It is not usual for primaries to have a high turnout of voters, a wasted opportunity, in particular for partisan voters, who miss a key chance to have influence on the candidates for November mid-term elections. If people want quality candidates and elected officials they should get educated to make informed decisions, and approach the polls; there is no other way.

Hereby you will find a brief guide on the different races up for grabs for Doral residents this August.


Why did I get a new Voter Registration Card?

As a result of the 2020 Census, a review of the electoral districts took place. This past April a revised map of State and US congressional districts was discussed and approved by the Florida Legislature, and signed into law by Governor DeSantis. As a consequence of the increase in population Florida gained an additional seat for the US House of Representatives, and the review of electoral district boundaries impacted the voters assigned, therefore the need to generate a new voter registration card.

The card includes information about the voting districts for US Congress, State Senate and House, County Commission, School Board and Municipality, as well as the location of the electoral precinct to approach on Election Day, August 23rd.  Electors should verify that information when researching the candidates and races to prepare in advance.

Early voting is scheduled to take place from August 8th to August 21st. For locations and hours of operation please check https://www.miamidade.gov/elections/library/2022-08-23-primary-election-early-voting-schedule.pdf


Differences on the partisan ballots

This is the first election after the redistricting consequence of the 2020 census, which caused for Florida and other states to win seats in the US House. Therefore all 435 US House seats are up for grabs in November, and primary races are taking place for those seats.

Depending on the party affiliation electors choose upon registration, they receive different ballots. Hereby we describe the ballots for different party affiliations for Doral voters:

The ballot for registered Democrats in Doral includes the following races:

  • Democratic candidate for US Senate: winner will run against Senator Marco Rubio in November. Choices are Val Demings, Ricardo De La Fuente, Brian Rush, and William Sanchez.
  • Democratic candidate for Florida Governor and Lieutenant Governor: winner will challenge Governor DeSantis in November. The choices are Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried, Cadance Daniel, and Robert L. Willis.
  • Democratic candidate for Attorney General: will run in November against incumbent Ashley Moody. The choices are Daniel Uhlfelder, Aramis Ayala, and Jim Lewis.
  • Democratic candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture: will run against  winner of Republican primary to fill the position left by Nikki Fried, who is running for Governor. The candidates are Naomi Esther Blemur, J. R. Gaillot and Ryan Morales.
  • In addition, the ballot includes the non-partisan races for four Circuit Judges, three County Judges, and County Commissioner for District 12.

The ballot for registered Republicans in Doral includes the following races:

  • Republican candidate for US House District 26th, between incumbent Mario Diaz-Balart and Darren Aquino.
  • Republican candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture: will run against winner of Democratic primary to fill the position left by Nikki Fried. The candidates are Wilton Simpson and James W. Shaw.
  • In addition, the ballot includes the non-partisan races for four Circuit Judges, three County Judges, and County Commissioner for District 12.

How to choose the judges

Judicial races are non-partisan, and analyzing the judges to vote for them is a matter of studying their decision trends and character traits to ensure that their performance record is fair and abiding to the laws and the Constitution.  A good source of information about judges’ performance can be found on www.law.com, www.flocourts.org or www.floridabar.org

The candidates on the judicial races for these primary elections are:

Circuit Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit Group 3: Lody Jean and Teressa Maria Cervera.

Circuit Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit Group 20: Robert Watson and Brenda Guerrero.

Circuit Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit Group 34:  Ariel Rodriguez and Mark Blumstein.

Circuit Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit Group 52:  Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts and Jason Edward Bloch.

County Judge, Group 5:  Fred Seraphin and Renier Diaz de la Portilla.

County Judge, Group 19: Jeffrey Kolokoff and Lissette De La Rosa.

County Judge, Group 42:  Alicia Garcia Priovolos and Scott Janowitz.


The race for Pepe’s seat

County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz completes his tenure on the commission this November. Candidates for his seat are Juan Carlos “JC” Bermudez and Sophia Lacayo.

Lacayo is an accountant and entrepreneur who served as commissioner in Sweetwater for a year and a half. She was removed from her office due to an investigation that concluded she provided inaccurate information on her qualification papers.

Bermudez is a lawyer with long record of public service, which gained him the reelection for Doral’s mayoral seat in 2020; he is endorsed by the mayors of District 12 municipalities among other organizations and leaders in the County.


Regardless of party affiliation, voters need to study all candidates to decide for those nominates that are well prepared and qualified to perform the duties for which they would be chosen. At the end of the day, the winning candidate should always respond to the needs of their constituents and all people in the State beyond the party lines.




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