Just a year ago, they were their parties' hand-picked shoe-ins, career politicians who had done their time.
Bill McCollum picked up the endorsement of his own g-o-p for governor, and Congressman Kendrick Meek won the backing of most mainstream democrats for u-s senate.
Now republican newcomer Rick Scott holds a commanding lead over McCollum, and Democratic outsider Jeff Greene is beating meek.
For nearly all of Florida's history, the political parties have had a controlling influence over elections, nurturing the candidates who ultimately go before you, the voter.
But these days, there's no need for a republican headquarters, or for that matter, a Democratic home base, not with the money and star power the mavericks are bringing to bear.
That's a troubling thought for Pete Dunbar.
He's a former Pinellas county state representative who relied on the Republican Party to help raise the money to get him elected.
In return, he had to be loyal to his GOP friends.
But being millionaires, Greene and Scott don't have to deal with their party establishments.
What they've done is put themselves outside it, and it's a very expensive ticket. They're being able to use their own wealth and create an image for themselves that is untraditional.
On the campaign trail greene and scott proclaim, unlike the typical politician, the only people they have to answer to are the voters.
The trade-off, they may not have the connections or the experience to get things done, but in the real world, barber Matt Carter says most of his clients are ready for a change.
“Most of them seem to have an attitude of, you know, whichever party's in there, it's every man for himself,” says Carter.
Not that political parties are about to disappear, but their iron grip...could be about to get a lot weaker.
Polling Place Distirct 1A
WALTON PARK RECREATION CENTER - 122 WALTON PARK DRIVE
Polling Place District 1B
ANDREW BELLE COMMUNITY CENTER - 1270 LAKE STREET
Polling Place District 2A
ROY DRIGGERS BUILDING (CIVIC CENTER) - 126 N. ST. ANDREWS STREET
Polling Place District 2B
WIREGRASS RECREATION CENTER - 620 6TH AVENUE
Polling Place District 3A
HOUSTON COUNTY FARM CENTER - 1701 E. COTTONWOOD ROAD
Polling Place District 3B
NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY - 1842 3RD AVENUE
Polling Place District 4A
DOTHAN UTILITIES COMPLEX - 200 KILGORE DRIVE
Polling Place District 4B
DOUG TEW RECREATION CENTER - 300 GARLAND STREET
Polling Place District 5A
WESTGATE RECREATION CENTER - 501 RECREATION ROAD
Polling Place District 5B
WESLEY MANOR RETIREMENT CENTER - 718 HONEYSUCKLE ROAD
Polling Place District 6A
VAUGHN-BLUMBER CENTER - 2715 FLYNN ROAD
Polling Place District 6B
WIREGRASS COMMONS MALL COMMUNITY ROOM - 900 COMMONS DRIVE