Below are the races in Central Florida that FOX 35 Political Reporter Mike Synan is keeping his eye on. For a comprehensive list of all races and candidates, visit the Orlando Sentinel's Voter Guide for the 2012 Primary by clicking here.
Congressional District 7: This is perhaps the most watched primary match up in the entire country, and pundits everywhere will be watching to see just who turns out to vote. The Tea Party affiliated groups have been very adamant in their support of Sandy Adams, while John Mica has drawn support from most mainstream Republicans, including virtually every Mayor in the District. Both are incumbents who are having to face each other as a result of the redrawing of congressional districts following the 2010 Census. Teresa Jacobs threw her support to Mica just a day before the primary. A win for Adams would be considered an upset, since she has been outspent and only been in Congress for two years, while Mica has been there for 20. Adams was moved into District 7 during the redistricting.
Orange/Osceola State Attorney: Incumbent Lawson Lamar has been in the post since he was sheriff, but challenger Jeff Ashton has the bigger name recognition with voters as lead prosecutor in the murder trial of Casey Anthony. This race may come down to that case. Will voters approve or disapprove of Ashton's handling of the case. Since both are Democrats, all voters in Orange and Osceola will get to make this choice on Tuesday.
Congressional District 9: John Quinones, Todd Long, Julius Melendez, and Mark Oxner are vying for the Republican nomination. The winner gets a well-funded Alan Grayson in November, so the winner here will have to raise lots of money to have a chance come November. Quinones, "John Q" as he's called, is considered the one best equipped to take on Grayson, a Democrat, in a district that is 40 percent Hispanic. But can Quinones even make it through this bruising primary? Most of the attacking in this race has been done against Long and Quinones, not by any of their fellow Republicans, but by Grayson. Jeb Bush even weighed in, not with an endorsement, but telling Grayson to butt out. Melendez and Oxner are considered long shots, but could take crucial votes away from the two men considered as best positioned to win.
State Senate District 12: This has been a particularly nasty race between two Democrats. Geraldine Thompson is coming off of 8 years as the State Representative for a portion of this District. Victoria Siplin is the wife of current Fla. Senator Gary Siplin.
State House District 49: Both Democrats and Republicans have a competitive primary race going in this district. A big chunk of this district was the home for our last House Speaker Dean Cannon. Redistricting has the Democrats thinking they can win, and the GOP thinks they can hold this seat as well. Each party has two strong candidates facing off Tuesday.
Seminole County Commission District 3: 4 Republicans are running against a write in candidate, so the closed to Republican primary will decide things in what has been a heated race between pretty well known names in the County. Dick Vanderweide is the current seat holder, but he is challenged by former State Senator Lee Constantine, who is trying to get back into politics after being term limited out. Also on the ballot is Kathleen McIver, a former head of the Greater Orlando Realtor's Association, and a well known person among Seminole County's elite. The final contender is Don Epps, a Republican operative in the County for nearly 3 decades, and a procurement officer for Lockheed Martin.