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Why Florida Democrats Will Probably Lose the 2016 Senate Race

April 2, 2015 - 6:00pm

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

What is it with the Florida Democratic Party leaders? Why do they think it is only their decision who becomes the Democratic Party nominee in elections? They tried that same tactic in the 2014 governors race, deciding that Charlie Crist was their man, and trying with all of their might to push Nan Rich aside.

Charlie Crist lost by around 66,000 counted votes. What about all of the registered Democrats who decided to stay home because they couldnt bring themselves to vote for Charlie Crist or Rick Scott.

Charlie Crist turned off a lot of people because he appeared to be nothing more than a political opportunist, willing to call himself anything in order to get elected to office.

What turned people off to Charlie Crist much more than political opportunism, myself included, was the way he was virtually shoved down the throats of Democrats by party leaders.

This same fate will more than likely befall the latest party chosen one, Patrick Murphy.

It seems as though party leaders have developed a type of candidate that they favor: Recycled Republicans who are tied to Republican big dollars. While Patrick Murphy has never held office as a Republican, until 2011 that is exactly what he was. He was a supporter of 47% Mitt, having donated the maximum amount of money to Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama.

It also seems as though party leaders have developed a type of candidate they want to stay away from. Alan Grayson, much like Nan Rich, is a Democrats Democrat. It was held by the party that Nan Rich couldnt raise money. Alan Grayson certainly can do that with his vast donor base. He is even worth a cool $30 million himself, so it cant be a money thing.

What it is, I think, is that the current party leaders dont really believe in what Democrats have stood for all along. It must be noted that Allison Tant worked for a company that scrubbed 57,000 African-Americans from the voter rolls, affecting the outcome of the 2000 election that gave us George W. Bush.

Party leaders have looked the other way as Alvin Brown threw our LGBT brothers and sisters under the bus in Jacksonville.

They are looking the other way at the fact that Patrick Murphy voted to gut the Affordable Care Act and to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Allison Tant has virtually told African-American women, the cornerstone of the African-American vote, to go to hell twice.

First, by denying the Democratic African American Women's Caucus a charter. (There is much more coming on this topic. Youll be amazed at what lengths she and her cohorts went to in order to try to stop this group of black women. Yes, Scott Arceneaux, your dirty deed will be put on front street too.)

Even though the party leaders have not stopped, and will not stop, one beat of what the DAAWC is doing, the fact that they are trying so hard, and using underhanded tactics to do it should give black people in this state, and really around the entire country, great pause.

The second, and most recent FDP go to hell to black women comes in the form of U.S. Senate candidate Pam Keith. She was virtually told to go sit at the back of the bus by Allison Tant. Im sure Rosa Parks turned over in her grave on that one. Pam Keith was told not to even try to run. The party had already decided that Patrick Murphy, their Republican-turned-Democrat golden boy, was the one. Never mind that this woman is the daughter of a U.S. diplomat, veteran of the Navy, speaks fluent Spanish and French, has lived all over the world, relates to all communities, and most importantly for me, is not a cookie-cutter politician playing the game.

Never mind that Alan Grayson is still considering a run.

Oh, and please dont say well he hasnt decided yet. Nan Rich was in the race long before Charlie Crist threw his hat into the ring, and they never supported Nan, or issued a glowing welcome-to-the-race press release that Tant issued for Patrick Murphy.

I am in no way, shape, or form, asking for Democratic purity, but when you shun the foundation of what this party stands for, equality and equal opportunity for all, something is terribly wrong.

Just as I warned everyone long before Nov. 4, 2014, that Charlie Crist would not win, Im warning you again. Patrick Murphy will not win the 2016 Senate race. Not because he isnt qualified. Not because he cant raise money, Im sure he will. He will lose as Charlie Crist lost because grassroots Democrats do not want to be told who they can vote for. Grassroots Democrats do not want to be bullied. Grassroots Democrats want choices. Grassroots Democrats want a primary to be able to analyze candidates. Shying away from a primary makes me think there is something to hide.

African-Americans are tired of being taken for granted and told the only districts they are allowed to run in are ones that are predominantly African-American.

I hope Hillary Clinton, and whoever else is planning on running for president in 2016, is paying attention to what is going on in Florida.

Rock star Barack isnt going to be on the ballot. The turnout of various communities starts off less than 2008 and 2012 because of that fact.

Pissing off loyal Democrats doesnt bode well for winning Florida and keeping the White House in the hands of Democrats.

Leslie Wimes is the founder of the Democratic African American Women's Caucus. She is a registered nurse who was working in cardiovascular intensive care until she decided to form"Women On The Move,"a South Florida-based networking group that promotes positivity in professional and personal areas. Her website of the same name and progressive but independent columns have thousands of readers not only in Florida but across the nation. This column is reprinted from the site with the author's permission.

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