Washington (CNN)A freshman Florida congressman embroiled in ethics issues lost a Republican primary challenge on Tuesday, becoming the eighth incumbent to lose a House primary this year.
Embattled Republican Rep. Ross Spano lost a primary challenge in Florida’s 15th Congressional District to Lakeland City Commissioner Scott Franklin.The results of another GOP primary in the Sunshine State set up a highly anticipated matchup between Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell this fall in a battleground district that flipped from red to blue in 2018.Meanwhile, in Wyoming, former Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis notched a victory with CNN projecting that she will win the GOP primary for an open Senate seat, a result that creates an opportunity to bolster the ranks of Republican women senators.Florida Republican ousted marking 8th House incumbent to lose this cycleRead MoreSpano lost a GOP primary Tuesday night after being embroiled in ethics issues during his first term in office, which created an opening for attacks from his opponent.Last November, Spano said that he planned to “cooperate fully with the Justice Department,” after the House Ethics committee announced that at the request of the department it would defer a review into allegations that Spano may have received improper loans in excess of federal campaign contribution limits.Spano said at the time, “We acknowledged that mistakes were made with respect to the campaign loans, but those mistakes were completely inadvertent and unintentional,” adding, “We are confident that upon review, the Justice Department will see it that way, too.”His primary opponent Franklin seized on the issue, with one campaign ad superimposing the word “CRIMINAL” in all capital letters over an image of Spano. Another ad says via voiceover, “Whether Spano is incompetent or corrupt, he shouldn’t be your congressman.”Spano, meanwhile, campaigned as a “staunch Trump ally” and his campaign accused Franklin of not being a true conservative. Spano had also been endorsed by the top three House Republican leaders: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise and House GOP conference chair Liz Cheney.Franklin’s campaign was bolstered by the endorsement of one of Spano’s own House Republican colleagues: GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents the state’s 1st Congressional District. Inside Elections, a nonpartisan political analysis published by CNN political analyst Nathan Gonzales, rates the 15th District as leaning Republican in November’s general election.General election matchup set in competitive Florida districtMiami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will take on Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a freshman, in what is expected to be a competitive general election race.CNN projects that Gimenez, who has had a prominent platform during the coronavirus crisis, won the GOP primary for Florida’s 26th District on Tuesday.Mucarsel-Powell flipped the seat in 2018 after taking on GOP incumbent Carlos Curbelo in a district that voted for Hillary Clinton by 16 points.Gimenez has raised over $1.1 million as of July 29, but the incumbent Democrat has raised considerably more with a haul of close to $4 million by the same date, according to FEC data.Gonzales rates the 26th District as Tilt Democratic — and it’s one of the few races where recent ratings changes have shifted in the GOP’s favor.Wyoming on track to help bolster female Republican ranks in the SenateCynthia Lummis, who represented Wyoming’s at-large House seat from 2009 until 2017, won a GOP primary for the Senate race to fill the seat vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Mike Enzi.Lummis, who was the only woman in the House Freedom Caucus during her time in Congress, competed against a crowded field of Republican candidates, but led the field in both name recognition and fundraising. She also boasted a long list of endorsements, including from Trump and Wyoming GOP Sens. Enzi and John Barrasso.With her primary win, Lummis will be well positioned to pick up the Senate seat in the deep red state in the fall. That would add to the ranks of Republican female senators, whose numbers are at risk of falling with four of the conference’s nine women considered vulnerable in 2020.