In one of the nailbiters of the evening, Republican Party of Sarasota chairman barely edged out conservative active Steve Vernon in the state House District 73 primary, with 10,317 votes to Vernon's 9937 votes. He will now face Democrat James Golden, a former Bradenton Councilman, in November.

In other state House primary news, former Sarasota Hospital Board member Alex Miller beat former news anchor John Hill in the Republican primary in District 72 and will advance to face Democrat Ed James III in November.

And St. Peterburg Councilman Newt Newton has beaten businessman Dan Fiorini and former Manatee Democratic chairman CJ Czaia in the Democratic primary for District 70. Newtown will face Sarasota Republican Cori Fournier in November.

And Manny Lopez won the Democratic primary in state House 74 over Jerry Nicastro, and will now face incumbant state Rep. Julio Gonzalez in November.