Here is how going partisan in the Orange County Mayor Race could Back-Fire on Val Demings

Yesterday, the Orlando Sentinel published a story on former Police Chief and Congressional Candidate Val Deming‘s push to make the Orange County Mayor Race a partisan affair (that story HERE) and use incumbent Teresa Jacobs‘ party affiliation as a Republican against her.

The political math behind the strategy is simple enough. Orange County is a Blue County. Get your voters to the polls and you win. Sounds fairly simple. Right? It might be.

However, there are some real risks in going partisan for Demings, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today.

Let’s breakdown it down.

David Jolly vs. Alex Sink: OK. What does a Congressional race across the state have to do with a Mayoral race here in Orange? I’ll explain. Jolly’s win over Sink was considered a measuring tool for the mood of the country. Sink tied her campaign to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act and it costed her dearly. Right now, the President’s approval rating sits at 41% and while other Democrats all over the country, are creating space between their campaigns and the President, Chief is trying to embrace him. Are you sure you want to do that?

It’s a mid-term with higher Republican turn-out: Medicinal Marijuana will off-set this a little bit but expect more Conservatives at the polls this time around. Democrats took a beating in 2010 including Jacobs’ last opponent who went partisan. Most of your Supervoters are in Windermere, Winter Park, Apopka, and Winter Garden. Those are safe red. Demings has to make her money in East Orlando, Pine Hills, Eatonville, and Downtown. Is that going to be enough without Presidential race on the ballot? I’m not convinced.

The outside money will turn-off Voters: Deming’s fundraising haul up to this point includes a ton of outside, blue money. The local politicos in the area of the actual race don’t have enough faith in Demings to write her a check. Jacobs could go after Demings on this and it would play effectively in her favor. She’s got bi-partisan support

Partisan Politics Aren’t Relevant at the County Level: This is the biggest question mark of the entire strategy. Eventually, Demings will have to stand across the stage and debate Jacobs on the issues that affect the residents of Orange County, that they can control. If Demings tries to use R vs. D rhetoric on the debate stage, she’s going to look ridiculous in front of the voters (on TV likely). Her team is pushing this message and I’m convinced up to this point, it’s not only because she doesn’t know County Government like Jacobs (12 years to zero experience) it’s because that’s the only language her campaign leadership can speak. It’s a very small and impulsive political thought spectrum they’re operating on. It’s also a liability.

Drag Capitol Hill Politics to Rosalind Avenue and you’ll lose votes. I know it.

So there. Just a couple of reasons these tactics could backfire on Val Demings. I’ll reiterate that the math is still in her favor and it’s essential for her to turn out her voters but there are risks involved and everyone knows… You can lose once. Don’t lose twice. I’d hate to see a candidate like Chief take more bad advice from her campaign like she did in 2012.

Mayor Big Picture Changeable 3-14-14


Your Social Media Sunday Political Round-Up for 3/16/14

Here are this week’s best social media offerings from your elected officials.

One of the big political stories here in Florida was David Jolly‘s big win over Alex Sink the Florida Congressional 13th Special Election. Florida Governor Rick Scott passed on his congratulations. Scott defeated Sink in 2010 to become Governor.

Even Florida Senator Marco Rubio comes up for Jury Duty.

Alan Grayson decided to use Sink’s loss to teach a lesson.

Florida Speaker of the House Will Weatherford passed on congratulations to another winner this week, House 44 Special Election GOP Nominee Eric Eisnaugle who rolled to victory this week in West Orange County.

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz decided to post a message from Miami Heat Basketball future Hall of Famer Lebron James‘ad promoting the Affordable Care Act.

Congressman Daniel Webster took to Facebook this week to call for action on the Keystone Pipeline.

State Senator Darren Soto, and State Representatives Linda Stewart, Victor Torres were on hand in Azalea Park yesterday for the rededication of the Roberto Clemente Mural.

Soto Stewart

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was also on hand for the important event.

Finally, here is a great photo of Commissioner Pete Clarke visiting a local Elementary School.

We’ll see you next week!

Some Observations About the Apopka Mayor Race and the Upcoming Run-Off

Guess what the big story in the the 13 News Room was last night?

It was the David Jolly beating Alex Sink. Guess again.

It was the Apopka Mayor Race. Yes, you heard that right.

The highly publicized, controversial, and fun, yes fun, contest over who would be the next leader of the “Potato Eating Place”. The Home of the Blue Darters (sorry Mustangs). Was the election that had us leaning into the computer screen.

Would the Mayor for most of the last 60 years, John Land finally be defeated? He wasn’t. But he was in 2nd place to former Orlando Sentinel Reporter and PR Rep Joe Kilsheimer by a margin of 48% to 38%.

Just a couple of observations.

Kilsheimer would have won it outright if this weren’t a 4 candidate race: The other two candidates took 14% of the Anti-Land vote from Kilsheimer, keeping him from the 50% margin to avoid the run-off. You’d better believe that both of the remaining contenders will be calling Glen Chancy and Gregg Phillips asking for endorsements. If that happens, tell me, I’ll publish it.

This is a referendum on Land’s Age: No one else will say it but it’s true. Land is 93 years old and while he’s still sharp for that age, it was tough watching him debate 3 other younger challengers. He has trouble recalling facts about the city and elaborating on his platform. I feel terrible for pointing it out but that’s what I’m here for.

Apopka wants an Image Change: “No more Auto Shops and Dollar Stores”. It’s a brilliant phrase used by challengers, because that stretch down OBT towards Downtown is exactly what you’ll see. Arguably, the biggest improvement in the Apopka area for family entertainment was replacing the seats in the Wekiva Riverwalk Movie Theater. A facility I’ve been going to since I was 11. “The APK” has a reputation for being a place that’s behind the times. People are tired of fighting traffic on 436 to get to the Altamonte Mall or taking two-laned Wekiva Springs Road behind someone going 15 miles an hour. I love that town with all my heart (I lived there for a few years) but it’s a punch line for those that never visit. Land has to convince those ready for changes that he can get it done.

They still read the Newspaper in Apopka: Orlando Sentinel Columnists affected the outcome of the Mayor race and a County Commission contest last night. They magnified a mistake made by an incumbent Commissioner who criticized her opponent’s religious belief (who lost) and started the conversation about replacing Land in the first place.

The Best Part of All of This is that we’re talking about Apopka: Important races often go unnoticed. I remember in 2012 when Lawson Lamar and Jeff Ashton were battling for State Attorney with the shadow of Casey Antony over them. Was it a distraction? Absolutely. But it made people pay attention to how much of an important job that State Attorney is. That’s what’s going on here but this time it’s Land’s age and the town’s reputation. Apopka is the 2nd biggest city in Orange County and there is a lot of potential down there. They’re having a great conversation over who will lead them. This is a good thing.

Land Kilsheimer Apopka Mayor Race

Crist slams Scott accusations that he ruined Florida’s economy

In a web video published this morning, an angry Charlie Crist slams accusations from Governor Rick Scott that the Florida economy was ruined during his time in office. Have a watch.

“Rick Scott is blaming me for the financial crisis. That’s ridiculous”

“The recession wasn’t caused by me or by you. You know who caused it? Greedy Wall Street Bankers and Corporate Take-over Artists, in other words, guys like Rick Scott”

Crist then goes on to the HCA/Columbial Medicare Fraud Scandal that happened while Rick Scott was at the head of that company. This was a recurring theme when Scott first ran for office to succeed Crist in 2010 and it looks like the former Republican turned Democrat is trying to resurrect the issue.

The normal Happy-Go-Lucky, touchy-feely, Charlie is an unusually aggressive mood in this video. It would serve him to act this way more often. Scott didn’t see this type of hostility in his primary against former Attorney General Bill McCullom or in his general election showdown with former CFO Alex Sink, four years ago.

Rick Scott’s Early Strategy, and Local Elections, FPFT Wrap 11-5-13

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist is running for his old job as a Democrat. What his predecessor Rick Scott needs to do to keep his charismatic opponent on his toes. Plus, local elections taking place right here in Central Florida.


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