By Sam Bojarski

Florida’s Aug. 18 primary election saw at least 20 Haitian American candidates run for federal, state and local office.

Marie Woodson, who seeks to represent Florida House District 101, or Broward County, was one of the day’s biggest winners.

Four of Florida's 2020 Haitian American candidates.

The Miami Herald has reported that community leader Gepsie Metellus is headed for a runoff election for Miami-Dade County Commission in November.

Linda Julien, a Miami Gardens City Council candidate, has also advanced to a run-off election this fall.

Federal races

Democrats Sheila Cherfilus McCormick and Jesse Philippe have come up short in their respective bids to represent U.S. Congressional Districts 15 and 20.

Vic DeGrammont, a Republican, was slightly behind his opponent Greg Musselwhite as of the morning of Aug. 19. His race for Congressional District 20 was still too close to call.

State races

Woodson has defeated her two challengers, West Park Mayor Brian C. Johnson and Pembroke Park Mayor Ashira Mohammed, in a tightly contested race. Woodson will advance to the general election, where she is all but assured victory, Florida Politics reported.

Al Jacquet, one of two incumbent Haitian American Florida House representatives, appears to have lost his Democratic primary race for District 88, in Palm Beach County. Challenger Omari Hardy declared victory after capturing 43% of the vote, well ahead of the second-place Jacquet, who captured 26%. 

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Dotie Joseph (District 108) had a handy lead over her opponent Roy Hardemon, capturing 57% of the vote, Florida Politics reported.

Former state senator Daphne Campbell was handily defeated by Shevrin Jones, in her Democratic primary bid to represent Senate District 35.

Jessica Laguerre Hylton, who sought the Democratic nomination for House District 117, was one percentage point behind opponent Kevin Chambliss with all precincts reporting.

Local races

Metellus heads for the November run-off in her bid for Miami-Dade County Commission, District 3. She finished 28 percentage points behind rival Keon Hardemon, according to the Miami Herald. However, a candidate must capture more than 50% of the vote to win outright and avoid a runoff between the top two vote-getters, according to county election rules.

Broward County Court Judge Phoebee Francois handily won her reelection race with all precincts reporting, according to data published by the Tallahassee Democrat.

Linda Julien, who is running for Miami Gardens City Council, faces a runoff election in November, against opponent Andre Williams, according to the Miami Herald.

Haitian American school board candidates Marie Flore Lindor-Latortue and Narnike Grant did not advance to runoff elections in their respective races for Miami-Dade School Board and Broward County School Board.

This post will be updated as more results become available

Sam is a reporter for Go West Now and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @sambojarski.

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