There are lots of reasons people don’t like politics; this is one of them.
Tim Canova refused to concede his congressional bid, telling reporters he would only “concede Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a corporate stooge.” Alan Grayson called Patrick Murphy a Republican.
And after Marco Rubio trounced Carlos Beruff in the Republican Party primary, Beruff released an Op-Ed blasting Rubio.
“With regard to young Mr. Rubio, in my judgment, he made a life mistake. A man’s word is the most important thing he has. Mr. Rubio must live with that decision,” he wrote. “Sadly, he could have learned a lot about America and about himself by leaving politics and spending some time in the real world.”
Now, add Democrat Jim Waldman to the list.
The four-term Coconut Creek lawmaker lost the contentious Senate District 34 primary to attorney Gary Farmer 43 to 28 percent. State Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed took 29 percent.
In defeat, Waldman, a former House Democratic Whip, was somewhat biting. A postelection email starts with Waldman apologizing to friends and supporters for “letting them down” before offering a parting shot.
“We worked hard and gave it our all but it was not enough,” He wrote. “Unfortunately, many lies and deliberately deceptive statements were thrown around which we could not overcome. It’s sad that we allow candidates to lie and simply accept it as politics as usual.”
Much of Waldman’s animosity stems from a clash with Farmer over an “A” rating Waldman allegedly received from the National Rifle Association, which led to both sides calling the other liar.
“(A) political committee led by Gary Farmer is spreading lies about my record on guns,” Waldman wrote in a July email. “They’re spending tens of thousands of dollars mailing a FALSE claim to voters that I received an “A” from the NRA.”
In response, Farmer’s campaign released screenshots clearly showing Waldman’s “A” rating.
In any case, the days immediately following an electoral loss is probably the best time to take the high ground; something “good guy” Waldman, Canova, Beruff, et al, might consider.
In other words — stay classy, fellas.
For a lesson on civility in a loss, consider Melbourne Republican Ritch Workman.
Workman was handed a decisive primary defeat by fellow state Rep. Debbie Mayfield, 42 to 35 percent, in Senate District 17.
Florida Today described the race as “the Space Coast’s most bitterly fought 2016 primary election campaign, featuring dueling accusations of lying and negative television commercials and mailers.”
But did Workman go negative after he lost? No.
“Thank you all for tolerating another election cycle,” Workman wrote in a letter to supporters. “I know the emails, phone calls, and fliers in your mailbox can be very annoying, to say the least.
“The good news that comes from the Tuesday election results is that I will not be the one calling, emailing or mailing you! Many of you have emailed, texted and called me wishing me well and to check in, and I want you to know your kind words mean the world to me. It is so nice that you would think to check in on me after having lost an election. It is heartwarming, to say the least.”
After thanking his wife and family, Workman relates his honest feelings about the race.
“I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t disappointed to have lost. Of course, I am. However, I have had a great run,” Workman says. “I am very proud of the eight years I have been blessed with being a State Representative. I am proud of what I have accomplished and I will always hold the men and women I have served with in the highest regard.
“You should rest easy knowing that Florida is well managed. The government of this state is fiscally conservative with your tax dollars and is, for the most part, responsive to the people.
“I have made some mistakes, but I probably wouldn’t change a lot of what I have done, because I believe today, I am stronger, smarter and better prepared for whatever the Lord sends my way. I am excited for the next chapter in my life to begin.
“In closing, let me just say thank you,” he adds. “Thank you for letting me serve in the Florida House. Thank you for giving me the opportunities you have given me, and thank you for your friendship, trust and support.”
And that, folks, is how it is done.