Mike Weinstein’s more moderate approach to governance was probably always ill fated in this conservative district particularly among GOP Primary voters. Aaron Bean will now face Nancy Soderberg, one of the smartest people in the state. Soderberg recently had 23k pumped in by the Democratic Party. Soderberg is over qualified for any position in the state considering the types of people both parties send to Tallahassee and she probably will fail in this conservative district. But as we’ve noted before Duval County is changing, but not quickly enough for this seat.
The second biggest result of the night for progressives as Geraldine Thompson used lots of late support from liberal activists throughout the state to overtake Victoria Siplin the wife of Senator Gary Siplin. The Siplin legacy is one of corruption, nepotism, alignment with the GOP and general buffoonery. Thompson’s victory liberates Orange County from continuing public embarrassment. Expect Thompson to emerge as a real leader in the Senate on any number of liberal causes.
I really thought Rob Wallace would have enough in the way residual name ID and conservative credentials to at least show respectably. He did not as John Legg cruised to victory. Wallace is an authentic conservative, someone I respected when he was in the House despite his views being the polar opposite of mine. His consistency was always admirable in a party full of hypocrites.
In retrospect, maybe Jack Latvala should have run here. Jeff Brandes well funded campaign got plenty of help from outside despite his own ability to self fund. The Democrats conceded this seat won by Obama and Sink on qualifying day by not fielding a candidate.
Tom Lee’ s triumphant return to Tallahassee will be bad news for certain lobbyists but good news for sanity as Rachel Burgin a true dim light was defeated decisively in this very negative primary. Lee faces token Democratic opposition in this district. The opposition would not be so token if Burgin were nominated. Remember 2006? Rhonda Storms almost lost this overwhelmingly Republican seat because of her extreme views barely holding off Democrat Stephen Gorham 52-48 in a race that never should have been that close (It should be noted that Gorham was an unusually good Democratic candidate in that seat).
This race is still undecided but one thing was clear. Mack Bernard’s absentee effort was impressive and despite being beaten badly on election day by Jeff Clemens he very well might still win this election.
We’ll save analysis of this particularly satisfying result for another post later today.