The Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat, that was supposed to be the Democratic Party’s savior, Charlie Crist, lost the governor’s race to Rick Scott last night.
Most analysts agreed that Crist would need a good turnout in South Florida, especially Broward County where Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans, to win the race. Leading up to the election many Democrats promised that this year would not be a repeat of four years ago where voter turnout was about 41 percent. This year voter turnout was slightly better with 44 percent. With almost 6 million votes cast Scott led 48.35 percent to Crist’s 46.86 percent by the end of election night.
“Rick Scott just had an endless supply of money — that’s the harsh reality,” said Michael Rajner, long-time democrat activist in Broward County. “Could some things have been done differently to engage people sooner, probably, but money was a major factor.”
In the gayborhood of Wilton Manors, residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of Crist with 78 percent.
As for the other statewide races Republican Pam Bondi won re-election for Attorney General against Democrat George Sheldon beating him 55 percent to 41 percent. In Wilton Manors though Sheldon received 77 percent of the vote.
Republican Jeff Atwater won against Democrat William "Will" Rankin for Chief Financial Officer and Republican Adam Putnam won against Democrat Thaddeus Thad Hamilton for Commissioner of Agriculture.
In the Florida House openly gay Democrat Joe Saunders lost his re-election bid in a close race to his Republican challenger René "Coach P" Plasencia. Less than 800 votes separated them by the end of the night.
Also in the Florida House openly gay Scott Herman lost to Republican incumbent George Moraitis. Herman ran two years ago as a Republican against Democrat Perry Thurston receiving only 16 percent of the vote. This time around, as a Democrat, he did remarkably better receiving 43 percent of the vote.
“It’s pretty simple, individuals failed to get out to vote,” Herman said. “We must all take ownership.”
Herman left the Republican Party after his last election saying the Republican party did not acknowledge or validate his family or other families like his own. As for his future in politics: “Let’s see what time has in store.”
Openly gay Florida House representative David Richardson out of Miami Beach was unchallenged so he will retain his seat.
Lesa “Le” Peerman won a three-way race for Margate Commissioner, edging out Anthony Caggiano by less 160 votes. Peerman is a lesbian and endorsed by the Washington, D.C. based Victory Fund.
John Adornato III was re-elected to the Oakland Park Commission with 37 percent of the vote in a three-way contest.
In the Broward County Commission 4 race, Chip LaMarca defeated Ken Keechl, 53 percent to 47 percent. Keechl was Broward County’s first-ever openly gay commissioner.
Another local race of interest to the LGBT community was the Florida Senate race between Maria Sachs and Ellyn Bogdanoff which divded the LBGT community with Equality Florida supporting Sachs and the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council supporting Bogdanoff. Sachs won re-election with 51 percent of the vote.
“I am very excited about Maria Sachs winning,” Rajner said.
What did you have to say about Pam Bondi winning re-election?
Time for South Florida to secede from Florida.
This vote was purely along party lines, and generational at that. Young people.....get out and vote!
A sad day for Florida.
This is bad!
Worst possible news... Beyond disappointing.
I am really disappointed with this victory.
I feel sick! How did this happen? And why?
Common sense has lost!
We need to work twice as hard.
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