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Little drama as incumbents cruise to victories in congressional races across the Tampa Bay area

Side-by-side photos of Laurel Lee, left, and Anna Paulina Luna
Florida Secretary of State; Anna Paulina Luna For Congress Facebook Page
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Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee, left, and Anna Paulina Luna won their primary elections.

Several incumbents won easily, including Republicans Vern Buchanan and Gus Bilirakis.

There were few surprises in the races for Congress in the greater Tampa Bay area Tuesday as most of the favorites ended up winning their races.

Several incumbents coasted to victories. Those include Republicans Vern Buchanan of Sarasota and Gus Bilirakis — who represents Pasco and northern Pinellas counties — and Democrat Kathy Castor in her redrawn Tampa district.

The two hotly contested races were for House District 15, which includes parts of Hillsborough, Polk and Pasco counties; and District 13, which was redrawn to exclude blue-heavy St. Petersburg and include more red districts in southern Pinellas.

Woman in blue dress standing next to man in suit and red tie. Both are smiling and giving a thumbs up gesture.
Anna Paulina Luna for Congress Facebook page
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Anna Paulina Luna, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won the Republican nomination for the Florida Congressional District 13 seat.

In District 15, former Secretary of State Laurel Lee outlasted state Representatives Kelly Stargel of Lakeland and Jackie Toledo of Tampa. Lee will face off in November against Democrat Alan Cohn, who narrowly beat four other candidates.

In District 13, Anna Paulina Luna — who was endorsed by former
President Trump — outlasted Kevin Kayslett and Republican strategist Amanda Makki.

Luna lost to Charlie Crist in the last election. But with Crist gone to seek the governorship, she'll face Democrat Eric Lynn, a former national security advisor to President Obama.

Our journalists are independent, curious, respectful, and accountable to you. We’re committed to keeping you at the center of this conversation on democracy, staying in touch through surveys, social media, and in-person events. We won’t be chasing politicians, but instead we’ll tell stories based on the questions you want answered.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.