In the Democratic primary race for Florida’s 22nd Congressional District, there couldn’t be more of a contrast between the two major candidates running for the seat, former State House Democratic leader and West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and current Broward County Commissioner Kristan Jacobs. The winner will face former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, a Delray Beach based Republican in November.
Congressional District 22 has shifted dramatically in favor of the Democrats following redistricting prompting Republican incumbent and tea party darling Alan West to move north to the redrawn 18th district. Both Democrats have substantial political and fundraising bases. However, in order to face off with the dogmatic conservative yet attractive Hasner, the Democrats need a proven vote getter and someone tough enough to take punches and keep going. Quite honestly, it would be difficult to find a better Democrat anywhere in state to take the fight directly to the Republicans than Frankel.
Frankel is an unabashed tough liberal who has done more to further the cause of electing progressive women in the state of Florida than just about any other politician in the state. As House Democratic Leader, Frankel recruited women in a record number of House districts to run in the 2000 election. She also worked tirelessly to raise money, recruit candidates and train campaign staff in that election cycle to compete in seats across the state. While Frankel’s initiative’s could not buck the GOP tide statewide, she helped formulate a blueprint for competing in Legislative elections that the State party has unwisely discarded since her term was up in 2002. The Democrats have not reached the level of ambition nor organization on the House campaign level since Frankel’s departure.
As Democratic Leader, Frankel clearly differentiated a vision for the party from that of the majority Republicans. The messaging from the House Democratic Office during her tenure as Leader was unquestionably progressive and helped create some strong debating points to derail dangerous legislation once the action moved from the House to the Senate floor. Frankel’s willingness to fight for progressive causes was never in doubt before she was the House Leader. But unlike many Democrats who become pragmatic and cut deals with the GOP, Frankel stayed true to her principles as Leader and helped the Democrats define clearly their message.
As West Palm Beach Mayor, Frankel was successful in bringing business to the city while continuing to grow the perception of the area as a serious destination for both tourists and conventions. During her eight years as Mayor the city increased its tax base and continued to provide more services for its residents.
A word about Jacobs. She has been a better than average Broward County Commissioner and certainly deserves consideration for another office in the future. We applaud Jacobs outspoken environmentalism on a commission whose record on development issues is poorer than that of many more conservative counties. But her decision to seek this office created an unneeded primary for a deserving candidate, polarized the electorate pitting Broward Democrats against Palm Beach County Democrats and opens the possibility that should Jacobs be elected her successor on the Broward Commission would be appointed by Governor Rick Scott. Our hope is that Jacobs will run for another office after her term as Broward Commissioner expires, but now is not the time for her to have sought a congressional seat.
While we strongly endorse Frankel, should Jacobs win the primary she will be far preferable to the dangerous ideologue Adam Hasner. Despite a somewhat moderate reputation, Hasner’s voting record as a member of the Florida House veered sharply to the right. Despite holding a marginal seat for his tenure in the legislature, the Democrats never seriously challenged him and he was backed by a handful of local Democratic activists who ignored the reactionary aspects of both Hasner’s votes and his inflammatory rhetoric.
Defeating Adam Hasner must be a top Democratic priority and we feel Lois Frankel is best equipped to accomplish this. The Political Hurricane highly recommends and endorses Lois Frankel in the Democratic Primary and November election for Florida’s 22nd Congressional District.