Who’s Running for Congress in the August Primaries?

August 28, 2018
Primary Elections in Florida

When there is more than one candidate for an office from one of the political parties, the August Primaries determine which of them will go on to the General Elections in November. Florida voters will elect one of their two U.S. Senators and their member of the House of Representatives in 2018. U.S. Senators are elected in statewide elections. Members of the House are elected by the voters in their district; Collier County voters live in either Congressional District 19 or 25. (Find your district)

Here’s what you can expect:

U.S. Senate: Republican Party Primary Only

Florida Governor Rick Scott has one primary challenger: multimillionaire developer Rocky De La Fuente. Incumbent Democrat Senator Bill Nelson is running unopposed for his party’s nomination for a fourth term in office.

Interestingly, De La Fuente ran for the Senate as a Democrat in 2016. He was then one of five challengers for the seat held by Republican Marco Rubio. He came in fourth in that race, receiving just five percent of the primary vote. He then ran for president on the Reform Party ticket and got less than one percent of the vote in the general election.

Congressional District 25: No Primaries

Democrat Mary Barzee Flores and Republican incumbent Representative Mario Diaz-Balart will be on the ballot in November. Both are unchallenged so there will be no primaries. Politico Florida says Barzee Flores “gives the longtime incumbent the first serious Democratic challenger he has had in a decade.”

       Mary Barzee Flores (D)             Mario Diaz-Balart (R)
  • Barzee Flores switches races, challenges Mario Diaz-Balart. Barzee Flores’ decision was made at the urging of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, EMILY’s List, and Florida Democrats who did not want Diaz-Balart to again escape an election cycle without a major Democratic challenger. Politico Florida, 5/3/18

Congressional District 19: Democratic Party Primary Only

Francis Rooney (R)

Republican incumbent Representative Francis Rooney is seeking a second term and is unopposed in his party. Democrats David Holden and Todd James Truax will face off in August.

  • Democrats seeking U.S. House seat take aim at Rooney. Whichever one of the Democrats captures the Aug. 28 primary won’t have an easy go of it come November. The district votes heavily Republican. Rooney won the 2016 election with 65.9 percent of the vote over Democrat Robert Neeld. Naples Daily News, 4/4/18
As we get closer to November, I’ll write about the candidates in the General Elections. For now, here’s what I found by web research about the candidates in the District 19 Democratic primary.

The Naples Daily News called the political platforms of the two Democrats identical but said they differed in what would be their first priorities if Democrats take control of the House. For Truax, it would be to impeach President Trump. For Holden, it would be for Democrats to reorganize themselves in Congress.

David Holden (D)

David Holden is a partner in a financial planning practice in Naples. He has a degree in political science from Temple University and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He says his educational experiences have formed his deep commitment to quality public education and affordable access to higher education for all Americans.

Holden says he has worked his entire career to solve problems for families and his community. His career includes service as Deputy Director of the California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies, and as President of the United Way of Greater White Plains, NY. He also spent over a decade with YMCA Youth & Government programs, helping train high school students in facets of state government, and helped Massachusetts residents gain access to quality healthcare and safe, affordable housing.

Holden’s website states his perspectives on gun violence, taxation, the environment, climate change and healthcare.

His website is www.holden2018.com, his Facebook page is here, his LinkedIn page is here, and he’s on Twitter @holden2018.

Todd James Truax (D)

Todd James Truax is a social worker, counselor, administrator and occasional nursing assistant. He has BS in psychology, gerontology from Cleveland State University, a Masters in Social Service Administration in mental health and aging from Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, and a certification in nursing home administration from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. He currently serves on the Board of Café of Life in Bonita Springs.

He says he is often sought out by leaders in Senior Housing and Long-term Care who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent, and that his unique “hands-on” experience has helped him consistently steer communities toward regulatory compliance, solid financial returns and patient and family satisfaction since 1997.

His website states his perspectives on education, the environment, taxes, healthcare, immigration, national security, criminal justice and net neutrality.

His website is todd-james-truax.ruck.us, his Facebook page is here and his LinkedIn page is here.


That wraps up my high-level review of our Congressional candidates in the August Primaries.

IMPORTANT: Since Florida is a closed primary state, voters may only vote within their party. If you have not registered as a Democrat or Republican, you cannot vote in either primary. The winning candidates of the Primary Elections will move on to the General Election in November.

Election Day is August 28. Be sure to update your voter registration information and request a Vote By Mail ballot to make voting easier, whether you will be in town in August or not. Visit www.colliervotes.com.

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