Charlie Crist, a U.S. representative and former Florida governor, won the state's Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis in November. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/b9bcbeafde420b7282c2455a86723c2f/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>

Charlie Crist, a U.S. representative and former Florida governor, won the state’s Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis in November. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 23 (UPI) — Charlie Crist emerged as a challenger to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in November as Florida and New York hold primary elections Tuesday night.

Crist, a current U.S. representative and former Florida governor, won the state’s Democratic primary with 59.8% of the vote, besting state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who garnered 35.25% of the vote.

Fried, the only Democrat currently in a state-elected position, was also vying to be Florida’s first female governor.

“Nobody ever broke a glass ceiling on the first pitch,” Fried said in a speech after saying she had called Crist to congratulate him on the win.

“We are not going to back down until we restore democracy here in Florida and reverse 28 years of one party control in this state,” she added.

DeSantis ran unopposed — but some expect that he’s eyeing a potential run for president in 2024.

In a Senate race, Democratic Rep. Val Demings won the nomination to advance to November and face off with incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

“I dream of an America where we protect constitutional rights like a woman’s right to choose. I’ve said it along this campaign trail, let me say it again. We’re not going back. We’re not,” Demings said Tuesday night.

Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., is seeking the Democratic nomination in Florida on Tuesday to run against GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in November. File Photo by Graeme Jennings/UPI

Demings’ Senate campaign leaves open her seat in Florida’s 10th District, where 25-year-old Democrat Maxwell Alejandro Frost is believed to be leading a field that includes state Sen. Randolph Bracy and former Rep. Alan Grayson.

Some of the races are being decided under newly redrawn legislative maps that could tilt the congressional balance and potentially push two longtime Democrats out of Congress.

In Florida’s newly-redistricted 7th District, which includes the Orlando suburbs, eight Republican candidates are on the ballot seeking the seat of outgoing Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

GOP state Rep Anthony Sabatini and Republican Cory Mills, two contenders for the seat, both continue to repeat the false claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 election.

In Florida’s 13th District, which was a Democratic stronghold before redistricting, Republicans are choosing among a wide field of candidates that include Anna Paulina Luna, an Air Force veteran endorsed by Trump. The winner will face Democrat Eric Lynn in November.

In New York, redistricting is also proving to be consequential in races to be decided on Tuesday. Newly redrawn maps are pitting two longtime House Democrats against each other in the blue-leaning 12th District.

Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler have been in the House for 30 years and both have been prominent members of their party who have sought to hold Trump accountable for inciting the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol. Maloney heads the House oversight committee.

Maloney is pitching herself as a champion of women’s rights after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that overturned the landmark abortion ruling in Roe vs. Wade. Nadler touts his leadership during Trump’s impeachment trials and his general opposition to Republican priorities.

Maloney has raised more money than her challengers, while Nadler has received the loudest endorsement from Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Both veteran Democrats are being challenged in Tuesday’s primary by Suraj Patel, a New York Democrat and former aide to President Barack Obama who nearly beat Maloney in a challenge in 2020.

The House seat in New York’s newly-redrawn 10th District is also on the ballot Tuesday for the first time in nearly a decade. There are nearly a dozen candidates seeking the seat.

House Democrat Daniel Goldman, who helped lead Trump’s first impeachment trial in 2019, is believed to be the favorite in a field that includes New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, state lawmaker Yuh-Line Niou and freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones of the 17th District, who received endorsements from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Goldman, however, has faced criticism for using his family fortune to outspend his opponents.

Democratic legal counsel Daniel Goldman is seen during a public hearing on President Donald Trump’s first impeachment inquiry on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 19, 2019. Goldman is running Tuesday to represent New York’s 17th District. File Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI

In New York’s 23rd District, a special election is being held to fill the remaining term of former Rep. Tom Reed, who resigned in May amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Reed’s former aide, Joe Sempolinski, is running for the seat but can only serve out the term through January.

Meanwhile, Democrat Max Della Pia, who has no opponent in the Republican stronghold, will face either state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy or businessman Carl Paladino for the full term seat in November.

Special elections are also being held Tuesday in New York’s 19th District, where mostly county races will be decided.

Although technically not a primary, Oklahoma is also in the mix on Tuesday — where voters will choose a replacement for retiring Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe.

In the state’s primary in June, GOP Rep. Markwayne Mullin fell short of 50% of the vote and forced a runoff against T.W. Shannon, a former state House speaker. The winner will face Democrat Kendra Horn in November.

Mullin’s run opens his seat in the 2nd District, where state Sen. Josh Brecheen and state Rep. Avery Frix will hold a runoff to face Democrat Naomi Andrews in November.

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