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Diaz, Taddeo And Perez Win Special Election Primaries For Senate District 40 And House District 116

Holly Pretsky

Republican Jose Felix Diaz and Democrat Annette Taddeo won their respective primary races Tuesday for the vacant Senate District 40 seat. They'll be in the running with independent Christian "He-Man" Schlaerth in September.

Read more: Here's What Election Day Looks Like in Senate District 40 and House District 116 Primaries

Diaz, who resigned from the Florida House to run for the seat, defeated former state Sen. Alex Díaz de la Portilla and attorney Lorenzo Palomares.

Taddeo, a business owner who was Charlie Crist's running mate in his unsuccessful race for governor in 2014, defeated Ana Rivas Logan, a former Miami-Dade County School Board member and former state representative.

In the House District 116 Republican primary, first-time candidate and attorney Daniel Anthony Perez defeated Jose Mallea, a brewery owner and former Senate campaign manager for Marco Rubio. Perez will face off against Democrat Gabriela Mayaudon in the general election.

Most people voting in the primaries did so by mail. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Miami-Dade elections department had received 19,438 mail-in ballots, while fewer than 6,000 people had voted in person. 

The Senate District 40 seat opened up when Sen. Frank Artiles resigned in April after making a series of offensive comments to two other lawmakers in a Tallahassee bar. Jose Felix Díaz decided to resign from his seat in the House representing District 116 to run in the Senate race, creating another vacancy in the House. 

The general election for each race will take place Sept. 26. 

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