What’s Debbie’s next move?
With the midterm elections behind her, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz now finds herself embroiled in speculation. Wasserman-Schultz easily won re-election to U.S. Congress, where she represents Florida’s 23rd district and was one of the few Democrats to emerge victorious in November.
“I’m grateful to my constituents for re-electing me,” said Wasserman, 48, of Weston.
In addition to her duties as a Congresswoman, Wasserman-Schultz is the chair of the Democratic National Committee.
“My immediate responsibility at the DNC is to choose a host city for our convention in 2016, put together the pieces for our primary process and elect a Democratic President,” Wasserman-Schultz told SFGN following her appearance at last week’s Our Fund Leadership Forum in Fort Lauderdale.
Many political observers feel Wasserman-Schultz is on track to seek higher office. Blogs in Washington, D.C. are reporting it is “already assumed” she will run for U.S. Senate in 2016. Such a scenario would pit her against incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from West Miami.
“I’m not sure she has the votes to defeat Rubio,” said Tim Ross, President of the Dolphin Democrats, Florida’s oldest LGBT political organization.
Rubio, 43, is Florida’s junior Senator in Washington. He defeated then Independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek in the 2010 midterms.
Another option for Wasserman-Schultz is running for Florida Governor. A Democrat has not occupied the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee since 1998. Wasserman-Schultz insists a Democrat can win statewide in Florida.
“Absolutely,” she said. “This is a state where we have about half a million more registered Democrats than Republicans. This is a purple state. We have close elections every time. The last two elections have been decided by one percent … so no question, yes a Democrat can win Florida.”
But a South Florida Democrat, is another question. Some political analysts have suggested in the past that only a Democratic candidate from the I-4 corridor in central Florida can win the governor’s office. But the last four Democratic candidates for Governor, Charlie Crist, Alex Sink, Jim Davis, and Bill McBride, all hailed from that area and all lost to their Republican opponents.
Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan, who backed the failed campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, is not thrilled with a potential Wasserman-Schultz statewide candidacy.
“It’s not that she’s polarizing to her district. There are people who love her dearly,” Morgan told the Sun-Sentinel. “To the guy sitting in his recliner in Crestview, Fla. (Fla. Panhandle) on a Sunday morning, seeing her (on TV), he’s angry about that.”
Wasserman-Schultz though angered Morgan during the campaign by coming out against Amendment 2, the effort to legalize medical marijuana. When asked at the Our Fund discussion if Amendment 2 hurt the Democrats at the ballot box, she responded, “I don’t know yet.”