Both the Florida Times-Union‘s Matt Dixon and myself are “hearing” tonight that State Senator Jim Norman may be abandoning his re-election campaign.
Why Norman may be dropping out is unclear, but understandable.
According a senior legislator close to the developments, Norman reached the decision on Friday after he concluded he could not win re-election. All that’s left, says this legislator, is finding Norman a “soft landing.”
On Monday, Norman’s chief opponent, Rep. John Legg, was endorsed by Rep. Will Weatherford. The Speaker Designate’s backing follows a string of high-profile endorsements for Legg as the State Senate’s leadership begins to coalesce around him as its preferred candidate.
Both Legg and Norman are pledged to Jack Latvala for Senate President in whatever leadership struggle currently exists between Latvala and John Thrasher/Joe Negron, so after Legg changed districts to challenge him, Norman could no longer depend on the full support of Latvala’s political machine. By many accounts, it has been Latvala who has been Norman’s most vigorous supporter. Perhaps Latvala convinced Norman that he was in a no-win situation.
Then again, the political obituary of Jim Norman has been written prematurely several times before.