Can Charlie win? Of course he can. He’s a Democrat in a favorable political environment. He’s clean-cut and earnest enough that the old birds in St. Pete Beach and Pasadena can vote for him. Will he win? Maybe not in 2010, but a strong showing sets him up as the prohibitive favorite in 2012.
As for the open seat in the Florida Senate that Charlie has gifted to political junkies, I’d say Rep. Bill Heller is the early chalk for the Dems. Not enough of Kriseman’s or Long’s districts overlaps Justice’s lines. But Long has Dennis Jones’ seat to look forward to, whereas Kriseman may just have to pull the trigger and run against Heller.
What is so intriguing to me is if Heller runs and opens H-52…my district. Long shot scenario: in a five- or six-way primary, I take the nomination by being the most organized and hardest working candidate. I hit the trail every day to talk about the real issues, relying on a strong background in policy development. I deliver speeches that set the neighborhoods on fire and outstump all the Ross Johnsons of the world. Political friends from all over the country parachute in to help. My opposition — and there would be so many people who would move into Snell Isle just to campaign against me — would be in a lather. The Times would have a frekin’ field day with me, running a daily feature on my mugshots. The GOP would probably give me money just so I’ll be the Dem nominee, all the while I walk door-to-door every waking moment. I’m already at 12K in commitments.
Crazier shit has happened.
Disclosure: I worked on the re-election campaign of Congressman Young in 2000 and 2002.