Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Congratulations! And what Seminole can learn from Harold Ford, Jr.

What a great day to be a Democrat!! We won a HUGE majority in the House, and once the recount in VA is done, we will win the Senate. It feels very good to wipe the smirk off of W’s face. Finally, the middle class will be the focus instead of the super wealthy and the oil companies. Also, we will get some real accountability in Iraq. It is a new direction, and we Democrats are ready to lead! I know a lot of you worked hard on these national campaigns, and you deserve your accolades.

My GOP friends can take heart that Florida seems to still lean Red for the time being. Statewide, I was very happy about Alex Sink here in Florida. She campaigned with us here in Seminole and deserved to win. Of course, we are all happy about Bill Nelson. For the Governor’s race, although I wished Davis could have won, I’m very proud of Charlie for running a clean campaign and rejecting the standard Rovian fear and smear tactics attempted by his primary opponent Tom Gallagher. Frankly, I was afraid that if he lost, people might think it was because Crist didn’t resort to that shameful strategy. I congratulate Charlie Crist, Bill McCollum and Charlie Bronson for their victories last night.

I want to thank and congratulate our Seminole Democratic candidates. Let’s face it, Seminole is a DEEP red county. It didn’t turn red overnight, and it’s not going to turn Blue overnight. We still have a lot of work to do, but entrenched GOP incumbents faced invigorated opponents where previously they just waltzed into re-election with no opposition. I spoke to a very nice Sandy Adams supporter last night that admitted she had to put in some real effort and crank up their machine. Jeremiah Jaspon ran a very aggressive and organized campaign, and Marian Williams’ commitment to election accountability gave her opponent a real run for the money (and she is also responsible for registering many new Democrats in Seminole). I have no doubt that we will see more from our Seminole candidates. I wish to congratulate Sandy Adams, Lee Constantine, and Mike Ertel on their victories last night.

Tom Feeney faced his first real opponent with Clint Curtis. Tom Feeney had to campaign hard in a district that he drew, never had opposition in, and had to spend an unprecedented amount of money. Ultimately, it paid off. Finally, Jack Chagnon dogged John Mica for months and ran a very strong campaign. Unseating these incumbents was always a long shot, but you guys really made them work for it. Just as with the local races, turnout is key. And I strongly believe that the races would have been closer if not for the Tornado that hit parts of Oviedo last night. I congratulate Tom Feeney and John Mica on their victories. I hope, Mr. Mica and Mr. Feeney, you will work with your new Democratic majority to promote the change that the people want.

I also wish to congratulate my friend Sally McGinnis for her successful re-election in Winter Springs.

Congratulations to all of our Dem candidates. I parallel your efforts with my personal hero last night, Harold Ford, Jr. of Tennessee. That is a race that EVERYONE wrote off in the beginning. (How could a 35 year old African-American think he could win in a Southern Red state like TN?) But Harold Ford ran the best campaign of anyone (including those who actually won last night). His obstacles seemed insurmountable, but he pulled ahead several times in this campaign by never letting up, by not being afraid to DISCUSS HIS VALUES AND WHAT HE STOOD FOR, and didn’t write off any part of the state. He took his message to the reddest areas in the reddest state. Even though he lost, (by a hair), his strategy is a guidebook for every Democrat in a Southern Red area (like Seminole). His defeat will lead to many victories for us, as I have no doubt that this is the start of something very big for the Democrats.

Finally, I want to thank Carol Cox for her strong leadership of our party. It’s easy to be a chair in a blue county (or a GOP chair in a red county), but Carol has to be twice as committed to make a difference. And she is. We went from people asking if there are Democrats in Seminole to being a potent force that has garnered national attention. This Democratic tsunami all started at the 2006 Democratic campaign season kickoff hosted by presidential hopeful Tom Vilsack, which was held RIGHT HERE in Seminole County. Our candidates now have fundraising tools and technology support from Carol’s company DEMSLINK; new commercials that run on national television; and of course, a very popular webblog (thank you). She is currently working on a new media format to counter the overwhelming GOP noise machine that dominates our AM radio stations.

It’s our time. And I have never been prouder to be a Democrat.


  1. After reading this blog, Vince, I am even more proud to be a Seminole Democrat. Job well done.