The environment in Tallahassee will be much more peaceful next year. Scott Randolph will not be seeking re-election to the Florida House. He made the announcement this morning.
There will be no pink buttons with “Uterus” on the house floor next year. The office supplies of his Democratic colleagues will be safe. No more one man, Shakespearean rants on the Florida Channel with a hostage audience of lawmakers, texting dinner plans back and forth. Nope, Randolph is passing.
Wait, I need a moment.
Okay, let’s continue.
Randolph will instead seek the position of Florida Democratic Party Chair, which is a find endeavor for him, it could bring some energy back to a tired organization that isn’t so much charging into the election year, it’s more of a brisk walk. But, Randolph does tend to go too far sometimes with his rhetoric and that could become a liability. He will also work with other activists to take back the Governors mansion in 2014, with Rick Scott’s low approval numbers that is going to be a very competitive race. Still, outside of the capitol you’re just another protester in the crowd and his reach will be limited.
As far as the other Democrats in the state house, they might as well skip next session altogether. They just lost their enforcer, their legislative goon, their “look at me!” guy that kept Floridians from forgetting the party has a presence there to begin with. This is a huge loss for them.
Randolph will instead endorse former Orange County Commissioner Linda Stewart, who is a thoughtful lawmaker that will be a fine ambassador for the Democrats in the general election and could win with the President Obama on the ballot and high name recognition in the district.
But, she ain’t going to throw your pen in the garbage and threaten your political career.
I’m sure we’ll hear from Randolph again very soon but, it won’t be from an elected post and that will change the landscape of the political conversation in Central Florida.