What a night! It had ups and downs, and I got to watch it all play out with some of the best political minds in Central Florida, from the FOX 35 newsroom. Lets get down to business.
Rick Scott defeats Bill McCollum in the GOP Governor’s primary: He did it…. Lord Voldemort, Mr. Burns, Uncle Fester call him whatever you want but millionaire Rick Scott is the Republican nominee for Florida Governor. We were watching this thing till about 11pm, then we thought McCollum was going to concede, he instead told us that it was going to be a long night, about a minute later AP called it. Then Rick Scott gave his speech and then McCollum released his statement, that didn’t exactly, pat Rick Scott on the back. We’ll stay tuned, to see if an endorsement is coming.
Analysis: Those doggone ads worked, it costs a fortune, but it worked and now he’s the nominee. You can’t seem to knock this guy down. HCA/Columbia medicare Fraud? Nope. Media dodging? He’s like Spiderman. It’s remarkable, how this all played out, he sprinted on to the scene and ended the career of a three decade old Republican Icon. Unbelievable.
Whats next? The GOP, is ready to “go to work” with Scott to help him win this election. Alex Sink didn’t even wait for the appetizers to get cold at the Scott celebration party, before she started attacking him. This is going to be a lot of fun to watch. McCullom will finish his Attorney General term and probably be allowed to ride off in the sunset.
Kendrick Meek defeats Jeff Greene in Democratic senate primary: You know, after Jeff Greene lost this thing, he didn’t seem that upset. I think unlike McCollum, he knew this was coming. He was a stand up guy about his defeat and said he would do whatever he could to help Kendrick Meek get elected. He’s a billionaire, I’m sure he’s already forgot about this thing
Analysis: The Democrats woke up in time to realize that this was their guy all along. Greene was polling even worse than Meek was and his questionable history might have been kind of embarrassing to rally around.
Whats next? Well Jeff Greene is going sailing, and Kendrick Meek will promptly get stomped in the General election against Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist and might cost the Governor the election too, if he takes enough democratic votes.
Pam Bondi wins GOP Attorney General primary: : Dan Gelber also won the Dem AG primary.
That primary was fun to watch. Kottcamp, Benson and Bondi were all like-able.
Analysis: I think Bondi just worked the hardest. I saw Bondi on the trail, talking to voter about half a dozen times. I saw Benson twice and I didn’t see Lt. Governor Kottcamp once.
Whats next? I get to write about Pam Bondi for a while longer, thats what! I suppose Gelber will try to find some dirt on her (I believe there is some) and air some nasty attack ads.
Dan Webster wins the GOP Congressional District 8 Primary:
In a fair world Todd Long would have won. Dan Webster turned the primary upside down, when he entered. It was almost unreal at how he took control of this thing and never looked back. Patricia Sullivan had a good showing and the man who got the raw deal in this thing Bruce O’donoghue didn’t. I actually spoke to Dan Webster this morning and I’m happy for him, I just wish he hadn’t waited so long to jump in. He will still have me in his corner during the general election, he gets my congratulations. Interesting note, who was watching this thing play out with me? Ric Keller who was doing analysis, as well last night.
Analysis: Webster raised money effortlessly, gathered dozens of big named endorsements overnight and was presumed the front runner a week after he entered the race and never looked back.
Whats next: It’s the Devil vs. Daniel Webster ofcourse! Alan Grayson vs. Daniel Webster will be epic and the whole country will be watching it.
Sandy Adams wins the GOP Congressional District 24 primary: This one was one tough. I couldn’t believe how close it was, and throughout the chaos of the night, I kept an eye on those percentages. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve helped out on the Diebel campaign, when I’ve had a free day. I know that Sandy Adams sort of fell off to the side with fund raising and was written off a few times, by the powers that be, but she fought and good for her. It was a privilege to help out on the Karen Diebel campaign. Her strength and commitment to making the country stronger, is inspiring.
Analysis: Sandy Adam’s name recognition from her time in the state house helped. She is a well liked legislator and despite having no money, she didn’t quit and worked hard. I told Craig Miller a month ago to lay off, of the personal attacks on Diebel and her family and he didn’t listen. Those massive television ad buys and mailings from Craig Miller might have costed Karen Diebel the votes to beat Sandy Adams but…
She still beat you Craig Miller.
Whats next: The GOP will rally around Adams as she takes the fight to Suzanne Kosmas. Adams will shred Kosmas in a debate and has a real good shot to win back this seat.
Teresa Jacobs and Bill Segal advance to Run off for Orange County Mayor: : Everyone had these two picked from the beginning, but what threw everyone off, was the beating that Jacobs threw at a very powerful Segal campaign. Teresa Jacobs didn’t have TV ads, didn’t have paid campaign labor, or the head start that Segal had, because she entered late and she put them on notice that they weren’t gonna run away with this thing.
Analysis: Trusted and Honest vs. a lobbyist heavy 27 point plan that everyday people can’t put their arms around and benefits the wealthy.
Segal says that his voters will turnout in November, and it was partisan opposition (even if it is a non-partisan race), that produced these results.
Whats next: The powerful will come to Bill Segal’s aid and try to destroy Teresa Jacobs. There will almost certainly be TV ads attacking Jacobs and expect more paid foot soldiers to hit the streets for Segal (they call that astroturf support). This is going to be a war.
Linda Stewart says she will be back. I hope so, she is a good, honest lawmaker.
and finally there is Matt Falconer, the Black Knight. I like to tell people that you haven’t seen the last of him, not by a longshot. He’ll be back and sooner than you think and when he does and depending on what his ambitions are…..
He might have me on his side!
Other key races and notes (there might be a run-off in some of these):
Jennifer Thompson wins Orange County District 4 Commission race: Well spoken candidate, strong social media presence and a lot of volunteers delivered victory.
Ted Edwards wins Orange County District 5 Commission race: In what turned out to be a nasty little race. Ted Edwards and his portable billboards won him the seat.
Tiffany Moore-Russel re-elected to Orange County District 6 race: Didn’t pay much attention to this one.
Bill Sublette wins OC School Board Chair race: Everyone tells me that this position is more of a curse than a blessing. Regardless Mr. Sublette ran an effortless campaign.
Greg Reynolds wins GOP primary State House District 36: Reynolds and opponent Craig McCarthy are both good guys. McCarthy needs to run for office again and Reynolds will have my support in the race against “baby Grayson” Scott Randolph who tried to get Mildred Fernandez’s old county commission seat. Does he really want to be in Tallahassee?
What a day. It’s time for opponents to come together and help their respective political parties. Its not about whos more conservative/liberal anymore. Its about ideas and vision. Beneath it all, who really is the best person for the job. If you didn’t like those negative ads, I have bad news for you, they’re not going anywhere. Its going to get worse, before it gets better. Go to work for these candidates and believe in the process. It’s a cynical time, where no one believes anything, but I promise you that they are genuine people out there, who want to make this country better.
Its just up to you to find them.
The producers at FOX 35 for having me. Dick Batchelor, Tico Perez, Dr. Foglesong, Ric Keller for putting up with my non-sense for 3 hours last night.