On this website we have been very critical of the Florida Democratic Party and its failure to take advantage of numerous opportunities afforded it to win back seats in the Florida Legislature. It seems time and again the party itself takes the path of least resistance and diverts attention from its pitiful record by talking about national politics and the system being rigged in Florida.
But today we come not to continue our burial efforts of the FDP but to actually praise them, or praise one party leader. Senator Chris Smith has taken it on the chin from us for failing to field a Democratic candidate in the St. Petersburg-based 22nd Senate district, a seat that supported both Barack Obama and Alex Sink. However, Smith did successfully recruit candidates in several other seats prior Democratic Senate leaders failed to target and had he been running the House Victory effort it is possible that so many marginal seats would not have been left uncontested this election cycle.
Democrats have filed 30 candidates in Senate districts across the state. Incoming Senate President Don Gaetz has attacked Smith and the Democrats for fielding candidates. Heaven forbid in this one party state that voters may actually be able to choose their Senator in the General election. Thanks to the incompetence of Florida’s Democrats over the past decade, over half the GOP Senators elected during the time did so with no Democratic opposition, and thus did not face general election voters. It’s a small wonder few, if any, voters can identify who their State Senator is.
No election cycle provides better opportunities for the Democrats to “steal” a seat or two that may not be on anyone’s radar than a redistricting year that coincides with a Presidential Election. This is the first such cycle since Florida began trending Democrat at the Presidential level. It is a pity the House Democrats, who quite honestly have far more pick up opportunities since they are competing on a fairer map, did not follow the same strategy as the Senate ones.