Frankel has been on Floridas political stage for almost 30 years now. She burst upon the political scene by winning a Florida House seat in 1986. Moving up the ladder, Frankel served in the Democratic leadership before rolling the dice on a congressional bid in 1992. She won the first round of the primary but was beaten by Alcee Hastings in the runoff.
After losing to Hastings, Frankel looked to get back to Tallahassee, but her former aide Mimi McAndrews was holding her old seat. Frankel bested McAndrews in an ugly primary battle back in 1994 and went on to serve four more terms in the House, eventually rising to become Democratic leader.
Frankel turned her attention to local politics, serving two terms as mayor of West Palm Beach. She won impressively both times, including besting Mayor Joel Daves in the Democratic primary. Even before redistricting in Tallahassee, Frankel set her sights on running for Congress. Frankel beat Kristin Jacobs in the Democratic primary to face Adam Hasner in the general election.
Republicans had high hopes for Hasner who won conservatives over during his time in the Florida House including serving as GOP leader. Hasner spiked a U.S. Senate bid to run for the newly crafted seat. But despite national support, Hasner was running uphill in the strong Democratic district and Frankel went on to win by 9 percent.
Hasner was urged to run against Frankel again in 2014 and also pushed to challenge Patrick Murphy in a neighboring congressional district. Bowing out of both options, Hasner is staying on the sidelines this year. With Hasner out of the equation, Frankel appears headed for a second term. While there are three Republicans seeking their partys nod against Frankel, its hard to imagine the likes of Andrea Leigh McGee, Jeremy Rodgers and David Wagie succeeding where Hasner failed. Republicans will probably look at other pick-up opportunities -- namely Murphy and Joe Garcia -- in Florida while trying to protect Steve Southerland and David Jolly.
Frankel hasnt gotten much notice in her first term but then she is a freshman from the minority party. Still, Frankel is on some impressive committees including Foreign Affairs, and Transportation and Infrastructure. Shes a shrewd legislator and a political veteran. Look for Frankel to easily win and continue her time on the political stage.
Tallahassee-based political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.