Tuesday’s primaries: Top races to watch are in Florida and Arizona

As voters head to the polls in four states on Tuesday, some of the most interesting primary races to watch are in Florida and Arizona.…
Tuesday’s primaries: Top races to watch are in Florida and Arizona

Voters headed to the polls on Tuesday in four states: Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and Vermont. Some of the most interesting races to watch are in Arizona and Florida.  (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

As voters head to the polls in four states on Tuesday, some of the most interesting primary races to watch are in Florida and Arizona.

Both states have contentious primary races for governor and for Congress. Here are the top races to watch in Florida and Arizona.

SEE ALSO: Arizona, Kansas want all voters to prove they’re U.S. citizens

FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Former Gov. Charlie Crist is likely to win Tuesday’s Democratic primary and go up against incumbent Republican Rick Scott in the November general election.

Crist, who served as a Republican governor in Florida from 2007-2011, became a Democrat in 2012. He is going up against Democrat Nan Rich, who is a life-long Democrat and calls herself the “true Democrat” in the race.

Crist angered many voters when he refused to debate Rich. Still, Crist is the favorite to win in large part because he holds an advantage in fundraising and name recognition.

Political experts in Florida say they’ll be watching Tuesday’s election results to see if Crist gets enough support from Democratic voters, especially women and African Americans, to help him beat Scott in the general election.

JOE GARCIA’S SEAT: A crowded field of Republicans are competing for the GOP nomination to go up against Democratic incumbent Joe Garcia, whose district is located in southern Florida.

Among the Republicans running for Garcia’s seat is former Congressman David Rivera, who lost the seat to Garcia in 2012 after a series of scandals and federal investigations came up. Rivera’s candidacy has also been marred with scandals. Last week, he was named as a co-conspirator in a scheme to fund a candidate to go up against Garcia in the Democratic primary.

Many Republicans are hoping Miami-Dade School Board Member Carlos Curbelo will win Tuesday’s primary. But in order to do that, Curbelo will have to beat Garcia and three other Republican candidates.

ARIZONA GOVERNOR: Six candidates are running in Republican primary for governor in Arizona to replace current Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who will be stepping down at the end of her term early next year.

Multiple polls show state Treasurer Doug Ducey leads the six-way Republican primary, but there has been controversy over the fact that Ducey has ties to the organizations that have conducted some of the polls.

Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, who was endorsed by Brewer, is also seen as a competitive candidate. And former Go Daddy executive Christine Jones, has also been popular for her tough stance on immigration.

Whoever wins the Republican primary will go head-to-head with Fred DuVal in the November general election. DuVal is the lone Democrat running for governor and is a former Clinton administration official.

ED PASTOR’S SEAT: Almost immediately after longtime Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor announced his retirement earlier this year, several Democrats announced their candidacy. The district is heavily Latino and has a history of having a low voter turnout.

The top two Democrats running for Pastor’s seat are former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and former state Rep. Ruben Gallego. Both candidates are Latinos.

As The Arizona Republic put it, it’s an “Old Guard versus New Guard” kind of race between Wilcox and Gallego. Wilcox is a longtime politician who picked up Pastor’s endorsement and is known for standing up to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s racial profiling policies. Gallego is a Marine veteran of Iraq and a Harvard graduate who has been picking up a lot of support from younger voters.

The winner of Tuesday’s race will almost certainly win the general election.

SEE ALSO: Primary election results of some of the most-watched races