The Catalyst’s 2022 Voter Guide


Illustration by Andre Joseph ’22

With the 2022 midterms fast approaching, the Catalyst wants to provide RE with a clear view of the priorities, views, and records of the candidates they will vote for this November. With this guide, we hope to empower the voting members of our community to best exercise their civic duty.

Who am I voting for?  

This year is a midterm election, meaning that it takes place at the halfway point of President Biden’s term. In this election cycle, citizens will elect candidates for every seat in the House of Representatives, 1/3 of all Senate seats, and several statewide positions.  

In November, Miami-Dade residents will vote for candidates specific to where they live. Below, you will find a comprehensive list of those options so you can make an informed decision.  

How do I vote? 

First, make sure you’re registered. You might have done this at the DMV while getting your license, or you might have registered during our schoolwide registration drive. If you are unsure, you can check your registration status at 

Next, find a polling place and go vote. Election Day is on Tuesday, November 8th. Early voting is also available from October 24th — November 6th. Polls are open from 7 AM — 7 PM 

Statewide elections: 

The Florida Governor, elected every four years, is up for re-election. This year, incumbent Republican Governor Ron DeSantis faces a challenge from Democrat Charlie Crist.  

Ron DeSantis has held the Governor’s office since 2018. Previously, he served as a Republican congressman from 2012-2018. As Governor, he’s made several headline-grabbing decisions and has governed under conservative principles. Here are some notable policies he has implemented: 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, DeSantis took a hands-off approach to pandemic restrictions. Unlike most other governors, DeSantis did not impose a mask or vaccine mandate and implemented a lighter stay-at-home restriction. While Florida did become a global COVID hotspot in July 2020, its economy fared better than many US states did through the pandemic.  

Other notable actions include signing the Parental Rights in Education Act, labeled by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” Law, which prevents teachers from teaching about gender identity or sexual orientation before third grade; imposing a 15-week abortion ban; and allocating $12 million to a program that relocates migrants to other states. 

DeSantis opposes abortion, gun control, and tax increases on the wealthy and supports additional funding for law enforcement.  

His running mate is Jeanette Nuñez, Florida’s first Latina Lt. Governor. 

Charlie Crist, formerly a Republican Governor of Florida from 2007-2011 and now a Democratic congressman, is running as a Democrat against DeSantis. 

Crist switched parties in 2012, claiming that the Republican party had moved too far to the right on social issues. In Congress, he was a moderate Democrat, voting with the centrist Blue Dog Caucus. 

Crist supports protecting abortion rights in Florida, expanding access to the ballot, incentivizing clean energy production through the Million Solar Roofs Plan, and implementing gun control legislation such as an assault rifle ban, universal background checks, and a ban on “ghost guns,” or undetectable firearms. Crist plans to expand protection for LGBTQ+ citizens of Florida. 

Crist’s running mate is Karla Hernández-Mats, a teacher and union president. 

One of Florida’s US Senate seats is also open for reelection. In this race, incumbent Republican Marco Rubio faces a challenge from Democratic congresswoman Val Demings. 

Marco Rubio has held the Senate seat since 2011, having previously served as a city commissioner and as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.  

Throughout his tenure, Rubio has been an ardent conservative. He rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, which states that global warming is real, harmful, and caused by human activity. He voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and supports a blanket ban on abortion even in cases of rape and incest. He has opposed gun control legislation, instead favoring more investment in school security. Rubio has been a strong ally of Donald Trump, defending his administration’s policies throughout the President’s term. 

Val Demings has served as a congresswoman since 2016. Before her tenure, she led the Orlando Police Department as the first female chief, a position she earned after 27 years of service as a police officer. 

In Congress, Demings worked as an impeachment manager during President Trump’s first impeachment trial. She supports abortion access, earning a 100% voting score from NARAL Pro-Choice America. She also earned a 97% lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters for supporting action on climate change and the environment. She has advocated for gun control and vowed to defend the Affordable Care Act. During her tenure, she has voted in line with President Biden’s stated position 100% of the time. 

Statewide Cabinet Elections: 

Florida Attorney General: The Attorney General serves as the chief legal officer of the state of Florida. They hold the responsibility to enforce the state’s antitrust laws and protect Florida consumers from fraud.  

Ashley B. Moody (R): Moody is the current Attorney General. She previously worked for the United States Attorney’s office as a prosecutor for drug, firearm, and fraud offenses. In 2006, she was elected as a Circuit Court judge for the Thirteenth Judicial Court of Florida. Since becoming Florida’s 38th Attorney General in 2019, she has served as Commissioner on the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, Chair of Florida’s Statewide task force on Opioid Abuse, and serves as Chair of Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking.  

Aramis Ayala (D): Ayala was Florida’s first Black State Attorney, serving as the chief prosecutor of Florida’s 9th Circuit from 2017-2021. She is a fierce opponent of the death penalty — in 2017, she made headlines for announcing she would not seek the death penalty for any crimes prosecuted by her office. She met heavy pushback from then-Governor Rick Scott and other state Republicans for this measure. She opposes Governor DeSantis and other state Republicans’ policies on voting and civil rights, abortion rights, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, communities of color, and the environment.  

Chief Financial Officer: The CFO works to ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. They also oversee insurance fraud investigations and the state’s accounting and auditing functions. 

Jimmy Patronis (R): Patronis serves as Florida’s current CFO and is also the State’s Fire Marshal. Patronis released a draft bill in September to bar debt collectors from going after individuals based on their political affiliation. In September he released a draft bill that would bar debt collectors from discriminating against debtors based on their political affiliation, ideology, viewpoint, or conduct. He served on Florida’s Public Service Commission and the Constitution Revision Commission. He previously served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2006 to 2014. He has returned $1.2 billion in unclaimed property to citizens and arrested over 3,000 individuals who committed insurance fraud. 

Adam Hattersley (D): Hattersley previously served in the House of Representatives as a Democrat from 2018 to 2020. During his time at the Florida Legislature, Adam committed to lowering health costs, honoring veterans, and protecting public education.  

Commissioner of Agriculture: The Commissioner of Agriculture oversees the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the state agency that regulates and promotes Florida agriculture. Through this oversight, the Commissioner can influence important policy areas like gun regulation, environmental issues, and energy.

Wilton Simpson (R): Simpson is currently President of the Florida Senate and has served since 2012. He aims to create jobs, cut taxes, protect the environment, and support the military. Although, his primary focus is to protect agricultural property owners from property tax increases. In 2020, he secured investments for citrus protection, research for combatting citrus greening, and citrus advertising.  

Naomi Esther Blemur (D): She is an elected committeewoman for the Miami Dade Democratic Executive Committee in District 15. She aims to advocate for small farmers, stronger gun safety, feeding our communities, clean energy, decriminalizing cannabis, and building a hemp economy.  

County-wide elections: 

County Commissioners are elected in a nonpartisan race, and they can serve two four-year staggered terms. Commissioners establish policies for Miami-Dade County services. Elections for Miami Dade-County commissioners took place in August, but Miami-Dade law requires the county Commissioner candidate to receive more than half the votes cast during the primary elections in August to win. Out of the 5 commissioner seats up for election in August, two will be heading to the runoffs in November.  

District 2: Philipe Bien-Aime secured 26.47 % and Marlene Bastien secured 23.65% of the district’s votes. The current commissioner, Jean Monestime, did not endorse any of the candidates.  

  • Bien-Aime was previously elected mayor of North Miami in 2019. His campaign prioritizes support for local businesses, increasing housing affordability, improving environmental sustainability, and improving transportation.  
  • Bastien previously ran in the District 2 County Commissioner race. She aims to increase affordable housing and homeownership, support small businesses, increase funding for senior wellness and social programs, and curb gun violence.  

District 6: Kevin Marino Cabrera secured 43.27% and Jorge Fors secured 26.24% of the district’s votes.  

  • Cabrera is a senior vice president at Mercury, a public strategy firm. Cabrera has worked on the campaign teams of multiple Florida Republicans and was elected as a Councilman on a Miami-Dade land-use zoning board. His campaign aims to protect the environment, support small businesses and first responders, and create a “county task force” to patrol neighborhoods.  
  • Fors has served as a commissioner for the City of Coral Gables and currently sits on the board of directors of the Miami-Dade League of Cities. He aims to decrease property tax hikes, continue county programs that benefit seniors and children, and increase funds for law enforcement.  
  • Former President Donald Trump gave Cabera a written endorsement.