Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Florida House Race Has National Implications

It's Election Day in Central Florida - again. Today' Special Election, although for a state seat, could have implications for the Congressional race next year.

What's at stake?
We all remember state representative Bob Allen's bathroom escapades which resulted in a conviction and his resignation from the Florida House - District 32. He won TPM's Golden Duke for Best Scandal - Local Venue. Today, voters in that district which includes parts of Brevard and Orange counties will go to the polls to select the new representative.

The candidates couldn't be more different. Democrat Tony Sasso has loads of experience as a local politician and gained the endorsement of both newspapers in his district - the Orlando Sentinel and Florida Today.

SemDem at Daily Kos has an excellent rundown of the endorsements. The write-up closely mirrors the TV ad the Florida Democratic Party is running for Sasso in local cable buys.

Republican Sean Campbell is running a typical talking points commercial: Tony Sasso raised taxes five times (rebuttal on Sasso's website); Campbell is for low taxes, immigration control and small goverment. His ads are being paid for by the Florida Republican Party.

The district itself is moderately Republican with a huge military contingent and NASA. If Campbell wins, it's just more of the same. If Sasso wins, well...

Why It's Important Today
As I've pointed out before, Florida's state district 32 overlaps Weldon's FL-15 and Weldon has announced he will not run for re-election.

If 32 goes blue, especially in the state house, that's a pretty good sign that FL-15 should be on the target list of the Democratic Party. If it stays red with such a strong Democratic contender, Democrats should pour their support into FL-24 and FL-8 where we have a real opportunity to grab both those seats.

The results will be in tonight starting at 7:00 ET. We'll get it up as soon as we know.

These tiny races may not seem important in the national picture but they are. Remember, all politics are local.