NEW YORK, United States — Jamaican Dr Karen Green won Tuesday's Democratic primary election in Florida's 7th Congressional District, according to preliminary figures, while another Jamaican, Dale Holness, was defeated in his second bid in the 20th Congressional District.
The Associated Press (AP) and other news outlets called both races within an hour after the seven o'clock official close of polls in the districts.
Green, who is vice-chair of the Florida Democratic Party, polled 23,032 or 44.9 per cent of the votes cast to defeat Al Krulick with 10,782; Hilsia Fernandez, 10,254 and Allek Pastrana, who polled 7,284, according to the preliminary results.
Green will face off against Cory Mills, who amassed 27,732 to top the eight-field race for the Republican nomination, in the November 8, 2022 general election for the right to represent the district in the US congress.
Should she prevail, Green, who was the director of the Caribbean coalition for both the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns, would become the first native Jamaican to serve in the United States House of representative.
She has listed education, women's health, immigration rights, universal health care and combatting climate change among her top priorities. Turn out in both primaries was low with just over 51,000 among Democrats and 82,000 among Republicans.
In the hard fought 20th District, Hanover-born businessman Dale Holness failed in his second bid to secure the nomination as he was again defeated by Congresswoman Sheila Cheriflus McCormick.
Holness was only able to muster 20,716 to McCormick's 47,425 votes, with 95 per cent of all votes counted. Ankia Omphroy who is also of Jamaican background, was a distance third after polling 4,181 or 5.8 per cent of the votes.
The race had grown contentious in the final weeks with McCormick accusing Holness in a defamation law suit, of making what she describes as maliciously false statements about her which she claimed had hurt her family, friends and supporters.
Holness had hit back with his own complaints about lies he said the McCormick campaign had spread about him. As was the case in their first contest last year, Holness was also vastly outspent by McCormick.
In another contest of interest to Jamaicans here, attorney Tarmar N Hamilton was forced into a run-off in her bid for a seat on the bench of the Broward County Supreme Court, as none of the three candidates in that contest was able to meet the 50 per cent plus one threshold to win.
She polled 80,564 or 34.7 per cent of the votes to finish second behind Loren Mastrarrigo, who finished with 91,574 or 39.4 per cent. Denise Kistner came in third after polling 59,999 for a 25.8 per cent share of the ballot. The run-off is slated for November.
Hamilton, a member of the Florida Bar and the American Bar Association, is qualified to practise in Jamaica and is a member of the General Legal Council of Jamaica.
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