NEW YORK (AP) Republican incumbent Rep. Dan Webster of Florida narrowly defeated far-right provocateur Laura Loomer on Tuesday due to her anti-Muslim and other sentiments. Loomer had been banned from various social media platforms.
In an unexpectedly close campaign, Webster faced up against Loomer, a well-known activist who supported former President Donald Trump.
The Villages, the largest retirement community in the country and a stronghold for the GOP, is located in Florida’s 11th District, where Webster, who has represented central Florida districts since 2011, won the primary.
FOLLOW LIVE: Florida Primary Results in 2022
Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort is located in the Palm Beach area, where Loomer unsuccessfully ran for the House in 2020. Loomer won the Republican primary, but incumbent Democrat Lois Frankel defeated her in the general election.
Loomer frequently shared false information about Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American elected to Congress, on social media. One of them was the untrue assertion that Omar and other Democrats were attempting to impose Sharia law in Minnesota.
Redrawn maps that shuffled New York’s U.S. House districts in other races threatened the political future of a first-term progressive and guaranteed the defeat of one of the most influential Democrats in Congress.
In the second-largest blue state in the nation, the scramble resulted in acrimonious battles between Democrats, with both challengers and incumbents feeling a unique opportunity to gain or lose control in Tuesday’s primary elections.
As low voter turnout was anticipated, there was further uncertainty regarding how New York’s congressional primary races would unfold. After the statewide and state assembly primary elections two months prior, it was the second primary election day this summer in New York. It is unusual for New York voters to cast their primary ballots this late in the summer, let alone twice. Many voters also discovered that their familiar district borders had changed, which further added to the uncertainty.
Florida’s U.S. House primary elections included a test for a conservative firebrand who was threatened with a federal investigation.