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SWFL Congressional and State Legislative Primary Election races to watch

Updated at 10:00 pm
In the Republican primary for State Senate District 26, Steve Byers defeated Willam Wheelen, and will go on to face Democrat Lori Berman in November.

Tiffany Esposito defeated Ford O'Connell in the Republican Primary for Florida's State House District 77 seat. That district covers portions of Lee County including Lehigh Acres and San Carlos Park. She'll face Democrat Eric Engelhart in the general election.

Updated 7:56 pm
The Associated Press (AP) has called the Republican Primary for Florida's 19th Congressional seat here in Southwest Florida for incumbent Byron Donalds. He'll face Democratic challenger Cindy Banyai for a second time in November.

The AP has also called the GOP primary for Florida's 16th Congressional seat to incumbent Vern Buchanan of Longboat Key. He defeated challenger Martin Hyde.

Voters in Southwest Florida will set the stage for two congressional races in November during the Aug. 23 Primary election. Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan faces GOP challenger Martin Hyde. Hyde made national headlines earlier this year after he was caught on video berating and threatening a Sarasota police officer during a traffic stop. The winner will face Democrat Jan Schneider in November. Schneider faces no Democratic primary challenger.

In the race for Florida’s 19th Congressional District, GOP incumbent Congressman Byron Donalds faces challenger Jim Huff. The winner will face Democrat Cindy Banyai in November. Banyai lost to Donalds in the 2020 general election.

Two of today’s primary races will narrow down the future makeup of Southwest Florida’s state legislative delegation. The race for Florida Senate District 26 includes Republicans Steve Byers and William Wheelen. Whoever wins the primary will face Democrat Lori Berman in the general election. Berman faces no primary challenger.

In the race for Florida House District 77, candidates Tiffany Esposito and Ford O’Connell are vying for the GOP nomination. The winner will face lone Democrat Eric Engelhart in November.

Once polls close at 7 p.m., tune into WGCU 90.1 FM/WMKO 91.7 FM for real-time election results throughout the night.

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