Who will replace Mark Foley?
From today's Palm Beach Post-
Republicans need some leftover partisan goodwill, a candidate who can hit the ground running and a massive effort to educate voters on the peculiarities of Florida ballot law if they hope to prevent U.S. Rep. Mark Foley's congressional seat from shifting to the Democrats next month.This isn't any mission impossible, but who will run in place of Foley and getting the ballot/legal issues done with are going to have to be done very quickly. None of the potential GOP candidates has the exposure Mahoney has for the simple reason that political ads have been running for over a month.
Top-drawer Republicans meet in Orlando today to designate a candidate to replace Foley, who resigned abruptly last week amid allegations he exchanged sexually explicit Internet messages with teenage boys. State Rep. Joe Negron of Stuart is the favorite to get the GOP nod, with Treasure Coast state Rep. Gayle Harrell and Jupiter attorney Tom Rooney also in the running.
Whomever Republicans pick faces an uphill challenge against Democrat Tim Mahoney in a district that was seen as a safe GOP seat until last week.
The new GOP candidate will have only five weeks to finance and run a campaign and, because of a state law that bars removal of the original nominee's name, will have to convince voters that marking their ballots for the tarnished Foley will benefit the Republican replacement.
Republicans are banking on the Republican leanings of a district that voted 54 percent for President Bush in 2004.
Rooney says some friends have told him that running a short campaign under Foley's name is a "suicide mission." But, Rooney says, "I think it's possible. It is a Republican district."
I have no preference in regards to the people who are interested in the nomination. Negron has ambitions for statewide office, he may be my least favorite pick for that reason. For if he is elected, Negron is likely to use his congressional seat as a stepping stone to run for Governor and Senator.
TFM would prefer a candidate that wants to serve the 16th district on a long-term basis.
Update- Joe Negron is now the annoited one to face Mahoney in November.
Linked to- Bright & Early, Right Wing Nation,