Election 2022: Payne wins Florida House District 20; Woolsey wins judge seat; Hutson defeats James

Rep. Bobby Payne listens as Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls presents his opening remarks to the Florida House of Representatives during opening day of the 2022 Florida Legislative Session Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.
Rep. Bobby Payne listens as Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls presents his opening remarks to the Florida House of Representatives during opening day of the 2022 Florida Legislative Session Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.

Florida Rep. Bobby Payne easily retained a seat in the state Legislature, and St. Johns County has a new county judge-elect after Tuesday's primary election.

Payne and Luis Miguel, both Republicans, faced off in a universal primary because they were the only two candidates to qualify for the race.

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Unofficial results from Tuesday night showed that Payne received 24,975 votes across the district, and Miguel received 7,393 votes, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

Miguel, a St. Johns County resident, has not served in an elected position.

Payne, of Palatka, had served for six years as a state representative in District 19, which included Putnam, Bradford, Union and parts of Clay counties, according to his response to a candidate survey from The Record. After redistricting, he became the representative for District 20, which now includes the majority of southern St. Johns County but not the coast.

In his response to a candidate survey from The Record, Payne outlined his goals for the upcoming term.

"I will be one of Speaker Renner's primary leadership team members and chairs," he wrote. "I will continue to work with Gov. DeSantis to pass good policies and to push back on the efforts to destroy our fundamental rights as Floridians and Americans. Maintain our conservative values of less government, low taxes, free market principles, promoting greater educational opportunities including school choice, supporting families, prevent overreach of rules and regulations, protect our assets and natural resources."

St. Johns County's newest judge-elect

Casey Woolsey
Casey Woolsey

In the county judge race, St. Johns County attorneys Alyssa Shorstein and Casey Woolsey faced each other. Both had not held an elected office.

Woolsey, of Ponte Vedra Beach, received 55.8% of the votes cast. Shorstein, of St. Augustine, won 44.2% of the votes cast.

"I'm humbled and honored by all the support that my campaign received, and I look forward to working for the citizens of St. Johns County as their county court judge," Woolsey said on election night.

A county judge was last elected in 2008 with Patty Christensen, who was replaced by current Judge Alexander Christine Jr., according to Supervisor of Elections Vicky Oakes.

Woolsey will take the oath of office in January, she said.

When asked about her goals in a candidate survey from The Record, she wrote, "I look forward to being known as a judge who decides cases fairly and impartially and shows patience and compassion to litigants and attorneys who appear before me. It’s important that attorneys, plaintiffs and defendants feel comfortable going to trial knowing they will not be penalized for exercising their Constitutional rights."

In District 7, incumbent Republican state Sen. Travis Hutson defeated Gerry James by a 56-44 margin. The district covers Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam counties and parts of northern Volusia.

This article originally appeared on St. Augustine Record: St. Johns County gets new judge; Payne to return to state house