Day: September 26, 2010

Independent Candidacies A Long Shot This Election Year, As Always!

This year, there are at least four and possibly five Independent candidacies that might affect election results!

The most likely to succeed is Independent Senate candidate Charlie Crist, Governor of Florida, who broke with the GOP and is running against Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek!

A second strong possibility is Independent Lincoln Chafee, former Republican Senator from Rhode Island, running for Governor!

Additionally, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is running a write in campaign for her seat after losing the primary to Tea Party backed Joe Miller!

Congressman Mike Castle of Delaware is considering a similar write in campaign against the person who defeated him in the GOP primary, Christine O’Donnell!

Finally, former GOP Congressman Tom Tancredo is mounting an independent bid for Governor in Colorado!

The most recent prominent Independents in office have been Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut!

Further back, Jesse Ventura was Independent Governor of Minnesota; Senator Lowell Weicker was Independent Governor of Connecticut; and Angus King was Independent Governor of Maine!

These cases of Independents running for, and some winning, office are fascinating, but the odds this year, as always, are daunting!

IF both Charlie Crist and Lincoln Chafee win, it will be considered a major coup for the movement toward independent candidacies, but it is also very possible NO Independent will win, as the two party system is well entrenched!

The Florida US Senate Race: Charlie Crist The Best Choice!

For those who are progressive, the US Senate race in Florida is a difficult choice!

The Republicans have nominated former Speaker of the State House Marco Rubio of Miami, a favorite of conservatives and the Tea Party Movement! He is a Cuban American who would help promote the conservative agenda, and has sometimes been called the Cuban Barack Obama, a young man who could be imagined to be a seeker of higher office than the Senate were he to win the seat!

The Democrats have nominated Miami Congressman Kendrick Meek, who has gained the support of President Obama, Vice President Biden, former President Bill Clinton, and former Vice President Al Gore! Meek has a strong liberal record, and is the only African American candidate for the US Senate this year, and were he to win, he would become only the seventh US Senator of his race, and only the fourth to be elected by popular vote!

And then there is Governor Charlie Crist, who has been a Republican his whole political career, until he recognized that he could not win the GOP nomination in a primary race with Rubio, witnessing an extremely rapid drop in polls over a period of about six months late in 2009 and early in 2010! So he proceeded to leave the Republican Party this past spring and announce a candidacy as an Independent!

Crist has had a comparatively moderate record as Governor, but has been criticized as having no principles, except his own advancement, but he actually comes across as a person who has shown courage and willingness to cross the aisle, and pledges that is what he would do if elected to the Senate! The one thing that remains troubling is his refusal to indicate how he would side in organization of the Senate were he to win–that is, would he join the Republican caucus which has already rejected him in favor of Rubio, once he bowed out of the primary race, or would he join the Democratic caucus, in either case probably keeping an official Independent status, as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman have asserted!

For a progressive, it is a tough choice as to who should be supported, but the key point is who has the greater likelihood of stopping Marco Rubio and the Tea Party Movement from gaining the Senate seat!

It is extremely hard to imagine Kendrick Meek winning the seat, and he remains in third place! So it seems likely that a vote for Meek would help Rubio defeat Crist, an unfortunate and tragic circumstance were that to happen!

With the announcement today that former Congressman Robert Wexler of Boca Raton, who knows and admires Crist, but worked in the House of Representatives with Meek, is about to endorse Crist, it comes across to the author that despite what Obama, Biden, Clinton and Gore have done to back Meek, that the stance of Wexler makes a lot of sense!

If Meek somehow should gain the seat, it will be a surprise victory, but under the circumstances that exist, and with Crist being a moderate likely to organize (hopefully) with the Democrats while remaining an Independent, the author has decided that he will support and vote for Charlie Crist as the next US Senator from Florida, and hopes that Marco Rubio will be denied that seat in what is now a very close race between Rubio and Crist! May Charlie win and accomplish a distinguished record in the Senate for the state of Florida over the next six years!