Rematch With Maria Sachs for Ellyn Bogdanoff?
Around the State
Ellyn Bogdanoff is thinking of returning to Tallahassee and, if she runs, her rematch with Maria Sachs becomes one of the most competitive legislative races in Florida.
In the aftermath of redistricting, Sachs edged Bogdanoff in 2012 in a rare match-up between two sitting members of the state Senate. Sachs rode Barack Obama’s and Bill Nelson’s coattails to win by less than 6 percent. Bogdanoff has to think, with Obama not on the ballot, Democrats won’t be marching out to the polls in November like they did in 2012.
Sachs had a relatively quiet session this spring. While she has been a leading Democratic figure in both the House and the Senate, Sachs kept a lower profile this time out. By the end of April, Sachs had around $161,000 in the bank, but Bogdanoff has always been a strong fundraiser. If her former colleague decides to run against her, Sachs will have to ramp up her fundraising skills considerably.
Both candidates are known in the area. Before being elected to the Senate in 2010, Bogdanoff served three terms in the Florida House before she ran for the Senate, beating fellow House Republican Carl Domino in the primary and then blowing out Kelly Skidmore, a Democratic state representative, by 20 percent in the general election. But Sachs has also been a proven winner, gaining two terms in the Florida House before cruising to the Senate in 2010 and beating Bogdanoff two years later.
Despite the large Republican majority in the Senate, the stakes will be high if Bogdanoff runs. Bogdanoff has always been a little left of the Republican center. She was one of the few Republicans in Florida who backed Jon Huntsman for president last time out. Bogdanoff has also been a supporter of Jack Latvala’s ambitions to serve as Senate president. If Bogdanoff beats Sachs, she can be expected to continue to back Latvala over Joe Negron.
But a Sachs-Bogdanoff rematch would draw attention for other reasons. While there are some competitive primaries shaping up -- including the Central Florida Democrat trying to defend her position against Gary Siplin who held the Senate seat for a decade -- with the exception of Judithanne McLauchlan’s challenge of Jeff Brandes, this would be the only competitive Florida Senate race in the general election.
Bogdanoff has opened the door to running and the Florida Democrats are certainly acting like they expect her to run. The Florida Democratic Party launched a pre-emptive strike against her, claiming she is out of touch with the district and too extreme. Bogdanoff continues to weigh running again and, with so much at stake, eyes across the state are locked on her as she makes her decision.
Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.