Thursday, June 04, 2009

Dave Aronberg announces for attorney general

Now we have one Democratic state senator announcing for attorney general and another saying he’ll announce in a few days. So, careful readers, that stuff from a few days ago about avoiding primaries and being all united as a happy family – no longer in effect. That car’s not in gear. That idea is inoperative, to borrow a 35-year-old usage made famous in the doomed administration of Richard Nixon.

We’re gonna be Democrats. Will we have slugfests like that between the 2006 candidates for governor, Jim Davis and Rod Smith? That will be up to Sen. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres (District 27), who announced on Thursday, and Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach (District 35), who said in an email, “I expect to be making my own announcement of my intentions within a few days.”

Let us fervently wish that they don’t spend all their money and venom on each other for the primary to be held in August 2010, and that the winner will be in good shape to defeat a Republican in November next year.

UPDATE: Both would have to resign their Senate seats to run for attorney general, under Florida's so-called "resign to run" law, text at this link. The state law does not apply to the federal office that Gelber sought, the US Senate.

Meanwhile, there’s confirmation that Democratic U.S. Rep Corrine Brown of Jacksonville (FL-3) is considering a run for the U.S. Senate nomination. In that race, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami (FL-17) has a strong start, with North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns saying he likes primaries. Gelber said last weekend he was stepping back from his declared run for the nomination for senator to avoid the chance of a divisive primary.

Alex Sink, now the state chief financial officer, is the mainstream announced candidate for the governorship that Charlie Crist will not run again for, instead running for the U.S. Senate nomination against Marco Rubio, former speaker of the state House of Representatives.

If you think this story is getting cluttered with political names, be glad I’m not talking about those announced Democrats for Kendrick Meek’s seat. They number six already. You may click on this link to the Florida Division of Elections list of who is running for everything. Note that Charlie Crist also has six announced Republican contenders for the U.S. Senate nomination.
This looks like a good two years for political consultants. Something to think about for those whose jobs have gone south.

Here’s the text of Gelber’s email.
“A few days ago I receded from the U.S. Senate race in order to avoid the circular firing squad that has characterized too many past Democratic efforts. My hope was that with the opening up of every cabinet office (for the first time in 140 years) that Democratic hopefuls – like me -- would take a step back to give all of us time to reach a thoughtful judgment on how best to unify our party in a year when real change is finally within reach. In fact, over the last few weeks many of the potential candidates had been in dialogue with each other and with others hoping to avoid the type of divisions that damage our ability to present a winning slate in November. I am grateful to have heard that so many of you share my concern and were also hopeful that our party could break free of its past missteps. This afternoon my friend Dave Aronberg let me know that he was not waiting any longer and announced his candidacy for Attorney General. While I would have preferred a different timeline, I expect to be making my own announcement of my intentions within a few days. While part of me worries that this is déjà vu all over again, I am still optimistic that ultimately we will be able to deliver the change Floridians so desperately need.”

And here’s a link to Aronberg’s campaign site, which was under construction a few days ago but now is well populated with content. He plans to talk a lot about consumer protection in his campaign.

Footnote: Nixon was the first president I covered in my years with Associated Press. Does that make me a big-deal White House correspondent? No, my first AP job was in Philadelphia, and Nixon came there (probably 1971) to give a speech on education; the AP traveling White House staffer was generous and let me write the second-cycle story on the speech.

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