No Run Against Patrick Murphy, But Adam Hasner's Still In Play

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: January 28, 2014 3:55 AM
Adam Hasner

Adam Hasner

Adam Hasner closed the door on running against Patrick Murphy this year, but don’t expect the former Republican leader in the Florida House to go away.

Speaking to the Palm Beach Post this past weekend, Hasner confirmed he would not run against Murphy this year. Hasner staying out of the race leaves Murphy with a strong financial advantage over Republicans like Ellen Andel, Carl Domino, Calvin Turnquest, Alan Schlesinger and other candidates. But that could nullify with outside groups planning to spend heavily to either help Murphy to another term or defeat him.

Regardless, on paper Hasner did seem to pose a bigger threat to Murphy than most of the other possible Republican opponents despite not living in the district. First elected in 2002, Hasner moved up the ranks in the Florida House, becoming GOP majority leader before being term-limited in 2010. After leaving Tallahassee, Hasner turned his attention to Washington, running for the Republican nomination to challenge Bill Nelson in the U.S. Senate race.

In the Senate race, Hasner made some inroads with conservative activists but, after redistricting, turned his attention to an open congressional seat. Democrat Lois Frankel beat Hasner by 9 percent in November in a pretty solidly Democratic district.

Despite losing to Frankel, Hasner remains politically viable. Republican leaders appreciate his battle against Frankel in a tough district and he has been a proven fundraiser. Hasner is certainly a conservative on fiscal and social issues. Like Allen West, whom Murphy defeated in 2012, Hasner has been a staunch supporter of the War on Terror and has offered numerous warnings about radical Islam. Hasner has also shown a willingness to latch on to social media and his short-lived Senate campaign ran rings around his Republican rivals when it came to digital outreach.

Haner has the opportunity to bounce back from losing to Frankel and continues to remain active on the issues. Having said that, a state legislative bid seems a bit of a no-go for the moment and a rematch with Frankel is also not in the cards. Hasner has shown little interest in county and local politics. For the moment, Hasner is in political limbo.

Regardless, Hasner has time to wait. Despite being in Florida politics for more than 10 years, Hasner is only 44. He will remain a political force despite staying on the sidelines for the rest of 2014.

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

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