August 27, 2014 in Nation/World

Crist wins in Florida; Ducey is Arizona’s pick

Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Former Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist smiles while speaking to supporters at a victory party after the state’s primary election Tuesday.
(Full-size photo)

WASHINGTON – Voters cast ballots Tuesday in primary elections in Florida, Arizona, Vermont and Oklahoma. Highlights:

Florida governor race

Democrats in Florida went with a former Republican as their nominee for governor.

Well-funded Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist had been favored in his race against former state Sen. Nan Rich. Crist, who was Florida’s governor from 2007 until 2011, mostly ignored Rich and instead focused on his fall rival, Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Crist was a Republican politician for decades and unsuccessfully sought a U.S. Senate seat in 2010. Crist lost his primary to Marco Rubio and then left the GOP and sought the seat as an independent.

He later endorsed President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid and became a Democrat.

Arizona governor race

State treasurer and former CEO Doug Ducey won the Republican primary for governor, riding to victory with a campaign that focused on his blend of government and business experience in serving as a state official and building an ice cream company into a national brand.

The race to replace Republican Gov. Jan Brewer had begun as a fairly quiet contest focused on health care and jobs before shifting abruptly when thousands of immigrant children began pouring into the country and some settled in Arizona.

Ducey, state treasurer for the past four years, will face former Board of Regents member Fred DuVal.

Write-ins for Vermont

In Vermont, Progressive Party member Dean Corren wants to carry the Democrats’ banner in November’s race against two-term Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott. If Corren gets 250 write-in votes, he will be on the ballots this fall.

Establishment-favored Scott Milne bested two other rivals for the Republican gubernatorial bid.

Oklahomans make choice

Oklahoma Democrats settled on a state senator as their Senate nominee for an uphill fight against Republican James Lankford.

State Sen. Connie Johnson triumphed over perennial candidate Jim Rogers in their runoff to be Democrats’ nominee for the open Senate seat.

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