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Politics

Charlie Crist, Alan Grayson Spell Trouble for Hillary Clinton in Florida

July 12, 2015 - 5:30pm
Charlie Crist, Hillary Clinton, and Alan Grayson
Charlie Crist, Hillary Clinton, and Alan Grayson

Hillary Clinton needs a united Democratic front in Florida to boost her chances of winning the White House, but events in recent days made that a lot more difficult as the Sunshine State’s ultimate political opportunist and Florida’s leading liberal took center stage. 

The Florida Supreme Court ruled last week that eight of the state’s 27 congressional districts didn’t pass constitutional muster. Most congressional representatives from Florida won’t be greatly impacted. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Kathy Castor should still be in Congress after the 2016 elections. 

But there will be some competitive races impacted by redistricting. Carlos Curbelo already had a fight on his hands with Annette Taddeo and now his swing district could be impacted. But David Jolly’s Tampa Bay district is getting most of the attention as Charlie Crist appears to be making yet another political comeback attempt. 

Representing a swing district, Jolly was already being targeted by Democrats and now his district could start turning bluer which is music to Crist’s ears. Even after his changes in political affiliation and jettisoning most of the principles that helped him win three state offices, Crist remains popular in his Pinellas County homebase and he would prove difficult for Jolly to beat. 

Granted, most former governors would find being a freshman in the congressional minority a demotion but Crist needs a political win badly after ditching the GOP primary in 2010 when Marco Rubio caught him in the Senate race; getting blown out by Rubio in the general election; and losing to Rick Scott in 2014 when he tried to return to Tallahassee. If Crist wants to remain a political power or have a final chance at his dream of a Senate seat, first winning a seat in Congress could be his last launching pad. 

A Crist comeback isn’t exactly welcome news for Democrats, even if the former governor gives them a good shot at picking up a House seat. Liberals and moderates are set to duke it out in primaries across Florida next year. Crist is backing moderate Patrick Murphy for the Senate and new candidate Alan Grayson is looking to get liberals fired up in the primary. 

Already in the news for his ugly divorce proceedings and over-the-top rhetoric against Republicans, Grayson is making no efforts to unite the party as he begins his Senate bid. Reminding primary voters that Murphy is an ex-Republican, Grayson insists moderate Democrats haven’t been able to win in Florida and has pointed Crist out as the best example of this. The Murphy team is already claiming Grayson can’t win the Senate seat but, of course, the same people said Crist was the only Democrat who could beat Scott last year. 

Clinton needs Florida if she is going to keep the White House for Democrats and doesn’t want a fractured party. But that’s where Democrats might be headed in Florida if they aren’t careful. Murphy and Grayson will battle it out in the Senate primary and moderate Darren Soto, left-leaning Susannah Randolph, Ricardo Rangel and perhaps others will wage war for Grayson’s now-open seat.

Democrats swallowed their principles last year to back “Chain Gang Charlie,” the former pro-life Republican. Many liberals stayed home in November instead of voting for the ex-conservative. Now, as Democrats are faced with contentious primaries between moderates and liberals, Crist is starting to resurface, ripping the bandages off old political wounds, and Grayson is ready to draw sharp lines between himself and fellow leftists on one end and ex-Republicans on the other. Clinton can't be happy with the idea of sharing a ticket with either an obnoxious liberal like Grayson on one side or an opprtunist and political loser like Crist on the other. A strong state party could help clear things up, but Allison Tant and her team in Tallahassee have led the Democrats to one disater after another. 

But what do Crist or Grayson care about Clinton's chances? Neither of the Florida Democrats has ever shown signs of being a team player. 

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News. 

Comments

2016 Senate Race will be a great 1. It's the run for ALL women around the country and across Florida women have declared to support women on the ballot. As the 1st Democrat Candidate I will get 10% of the votes automatically, I will get a large percentage of the black voters being the only Black American woman on the ballot at least 8-10% of all women voters and I will obtain another 25% of the Independent votes (registered as Democrats but are Independents at heart) they too want a NEW UNTAINTED face that represent the people. Let's not forget the bad taste the Florida Democrats left in our black mouth when they sold Kendrick Meeks out for good ole Charlie in 2010(shame on you). Alan Grayson dumb ass should have kept his seat and become speaker of the house the accusations of not paying child support and domestic violence he must be smoking crack to think anyone in the right mind would put him in the Senate seat. Patrick Murphy 31 no life experience he doesn't represent any group of ordinary men who are in crisis in Florida. He bring a shit load of endorsements that means NOTHING many of those endorsers need to be replaced for they too have sold the people out and enough is enough in Florida. Don't THINK FOR 1 MINUTE YOU WILL MOVE ME FROM THE 1ST POSITION ON THE BALLOT MY VOLUNTEER TEAM OF CIVIL RIGHTS, ESQ. ARE PREPARED AND AWAITING. Leading the way Esq.John Due. Lol~Lateresa Jones taking the 2016 Senate Seat it's time for a new Florida.

What's wrong with those "Pinellas people"?... Something tainting their water,.. Besides "Charlie the Tuna"?... Why else would they keep on "drinking his 'kool-ade'..."Morgan' Money"???

FIX THE PARAGRAPH PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Too funny!! I love watching Repubs delude themselves. ------------------------- JEB! or Rubio can't even beat Hilary here in their home state Fla. -------------------------Crist will beat Jolly which is too bad as Jolly, like Fasano they ran out of the party, seems to be a decent repub that if other repubs were to follow would revive the party.------------------------------ Repub have survived on lies and redistricting and both those are dying out as more and more see the lies and the court making fair districts is coming home to roost. I'm a fiscal conservative but most repub leaders are corporatist only for large corporations and the wealthy while sticking us with the bills. -----------------------------Most of those 'tax cuts' came because they shifted the costs onto property taxes so our tax burden is higher. Reagan did the same thing, shifting costs to states, locals most on the back of lower inc0ome people.------------------------- A recent Fla tax study showed this and that lower class Fla people pay 10% Fla taxes vs the rich only pay 1-2%. And that is how Repubs pay YOU back for supporting them along with $500/yr higher utility bills, making it harder, more expensive to vote , paying millions to 'farm' water', not buying conservation land despite 75%? voting for it. -----------------------------How much money has repubs, bondi, etc paid to defend defenseless policies against people's freedoms, rights, etc? ------------------------They won't let a free market so solar, clean power can cut people's power bills by 50% rigging it for big utilities, FF's, etc. ------------------They stand for big business, the rich paying little forcing the cost on the rest of us. ------------------------------Please tell me again why you vote repub? -----------------------------------Wasn't repub suppose to be for freedom, lower taxes yet we get less freedom, more taxes. ------------------------Please fix the paragraph problem.

Too funny!! I love watching Repubs delude themselves. ------------------------- JEB! or Rubio can't even beat Hilary here in their home state Fla. -------------------------Crist will beat Jolly which is too bad as Jolly, like Fasano they ran out of the party, seems to be a decent repub that if other repubs were to follow would revive the party. Repub have survived on lies and redistricting and both those are dying out as more and more see the lies and the court making fair districts is coming home to roost. I'm a fiscal conservative but most repub leaders are corporatist only for large corporations and the wealthy while sticking us with the bills. Most of those 'tax cuts' came because they shifted the costs onto property taxes so our tax burden is higher. Reagan did the same thing, shifting costs to states, locals most on the back of lower inc0ome people. A recent Fla tax study showed this and that lower class Fla people pay 10% Fla taxes vs the rich only pay 1-2%. And that is how Repubs pay YOU back for supporting them along with $500/yr higher utility bills, making it harder, more expensive to vote , paying millions to 'farm' water', not buying conservation land despite 75%? voting for it. How much money has repubs, bondi, etc paid to defend defenseless policies against people's freedoms, rights, etc? They won't let a free market so solar, clean power can cut people's power bills by 50% rigging it for big utilities, FF's, etc. They stand for big business, the rich paying little forcing the cost on the rest of us. Please tell me again why you vote repub? Wasn't repub suppose to be for freedom, lower taxes yet we get less freedom, more taxes.

You do seem to know a lot about delusion.

The tax burden was shifted to property tax and you think that put it on lower income Floridians? Are poor people living in more expensive homes? Ridiculous.

I know both Alen Granson and Charlie Christ they both fight corruption. The 19th Grand Jury was done by Charlie on Corruption now that Republican Rick Scott and Republican Pam Bondi office.... 4/30/2012 Monday. Message sent 4:45 pm save message from 850-414-8390 52 second Hi, this is the Florida attorney general office, I am returning a call you left us a message on on corruption wondered whether we have given up on public corruption. I am going by our office; we have no jurisdiction over public corruption. If you are referring to about the 19th statewide grand jury public corruption let me tell you that was a special circumstance involving statewide prosecutor as a Council to the statewide prosecutor grand jury but that term has finished it actually finished in 2011. So by law we no longer we have no longer any jurisdiction over corruption if you need our assistance please contact our office at 866-966-7226. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

Seems to me the "team" has their "A" game face on for a big win in the finals...

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