The defeat of Chris Dorworth, something we have editorialized about on this website since April is the most significant win in a legislative race by a Democrat since the mid 1990s. The peaceful cohabitation strategy of Florida’s Democrats who wanted to go along to get along has proven a colossal failure. Not only a failure for Democrats, but a failure for Florida’s citizens who have been deprived of a real opposition party and proper debate on the issues that matter on a daily basis.
The Democrats have for too long been enablers of the Republican majority. Every time the GOP leadership tries to bully citizens, lobbyists, the press and others, the impotence of the Democrats have essentially made them accomplices. But this culture of entitlement that has permeated the Republican ranks in recent years has been shook up. The defeat of Chris Dorworth, the defacto leader of House Republicans and the next in line for the Speakership is a shot heard round the state.
This race from our vantage point was more important than every other legislative race in the state combined. The Democrats have repeatedly not targeted Republican legislative leaders even when vulnerable and despite Dorworth’s laundry list of ethical lapses, he was being backed heavily and unfailingly by the GOP. At the same time just about special interest group in the state threw in with Dorworth in order to demonstrate their loyalty to the Republican cause. But when you spend millions in money on someone who is consistently in the headlines for the wrong reasons you hit a point of diminishing returns which clearly happened with Dorworth. The FDP finally came in the last few weeks to this district and did an excellent job of framing the message, putting Clelland over the top.
On this website we repeatedly called out those backing Dorworth even if they were Democrats and today anyone who feels strongly about ethics, accountability and morality in Government is in a better place than on Monday. Chris Dorworth’s defeat should put the fear of god into the arrogant GOP majority who has felt untouchable for 14 years.
The defeat of Chris Dorworth should make the legislature a better, more representative place while humbling an arrogant, entitled majority party. Without question no other result on Tuesday night could have achieved such an important impact going forward.