The 2010 Florida primary elections have yielded some interesting results that will reverberate in the fall. A Tea Party favorite has upset an establishment candidate for GOP governor. An African American has won the Democratic nod for Senate.
Rick Scott Upsets Bill McCollum
Tea Party favorite Rick Scott, a health care entrepreneur, has upset Bill McCollum, the Florida State Attorney General and favorite of the Republican Party establishment. Scott was considered an underdog in the race because of the backing McCollum had received. In fact, many mainstream media reporters had already written the story, based on the supposed impending defeat of Scott at the hands of McCollum and the decline of the influence of the Tea Party movement.
Rick Scott won by hammering Bill McCollum as an insider, establishment politician. Scott also outflanked McCollum on the right by coming out for a tough, anti-illegal immigration law modeled after the one in Arizona. Finally, Scott beat back a smear campaign based on a $1.7 million Medicare fraud fine paid by his health care company. Scott touted himself as the “jobs candidate.”
Rick Scott will now face Democrat Alex Sink in the race for Florida Governor in the fall elections.
Kendrick Meek Wins Democratic Nod for Senate
Kendrick Meek, an African American Congressman from Miami, has beaten back a challenge by businessman Jeff Greene. Meek will face Republican former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio and former Republican and current Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Meek is the son of former Florida Congresswoman Carrie Meek.
The Meek/Greene race was a nasty one, with accusations of fraud and corruption on both sides. But in the end, Greene’s status as a “carpet bagger,” having only been a resident of Florida and a registered Democrat since 2008, was decisive in his defeat.
Meek’s win is thought by some analysts to be a boon for Rubio. Meek will attract the lion’s share of Florida’s African American community, cutting into Crist’s potential strength. If, as expected, Meek does this and Rubio can grab the vast majority of Republicans in Florida, marginalizing Crist as a poor loser and an opportunist, many expect Rubio to win.
Sandy Adams to face Suzanne Kosmas for Florida’s 24th Congressional District
A number of Congressional primaries were decided during the 2010 Florida primary election. The most interesting was the GOP race to select who would face Suzanne Kosmas in the 24th Congressional District.
It appears that Sandy Adams, a former member of the Air Force, former Deputy Sheriff, and current member of the Florida House, will face the current Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas in the fall election. Adams has apparently won the primary by the narrowest of margins.
Kosmas, who won the Republican-leaning district, which includes the Kennedy Space Center, is number one on the GOP list targeted for defeat. Kosmas’ run for reelection is complicated by President Obama’s attempt to cancel the Constellation space exploration program, which has angered many aerospace workers who are constituents of Kosmas.
Rick Scott to face Alex Sink after shocking GOP establishment, Steve Bousquet AND Marc Caputo, Miami Herald, August 25th, 2010
Kendrick Meek, Marco Rubio, Charlie Crist to face off for Senate, Beth Reinhard AND Adam C. Smith, Miami Herald, August 25th, 2010
Adams wins GOP nod to challenge Kosmas, Ludmilla Lelis, Orlando Sentinel, August 24th, 2010