Updated/Bumped From Sunday
Right now the Florida Republican Party is going through the “motions” to find a nominee:
The most likely scenario involves a statewide “super board” of 40 Republican Party officials picking the nominee in a telephone conference from Central Florida early next week.ÿ Republican Party of Florida spokesman Jeff Sadowski said Saturday the selection process was still a work in progress.
“The nominee is going to have to get his name out there and differentiate himself from Foley and the Democratic candidate,” Sadowski said.
Veteran state Representative, Joe Negron, R-Stuart, is convinced it can be done. He was busily calling super board members on Saturday to convince them he’s a logical choice to replace Foley.
“I think the voters are very smart and sophisticated, and they care about who their congressman is,” Negron said. “It was very shocking and disappointing, but the election process has to move forward.”
Foley’s meteoric fall from grace would appear to make Democrat Tim Mahoney’s job a cakewalk, but Negron sees cause for Republican optimism.
Foley’s 16th Congressional District leans slightly Republican. In 2004, President Bush defeated Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry with 54 percent of the vote. Many of the Democrats in the district’s western rural areas are conservative.
“That is a district with a lot of Republicans who are ready to vote,” Sadowski said.
Negron also points to his party’s ability earlier this year to retain the seat of disgraced former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham of California after he was forced to resign amid a bribery scandal.
Negron recently dropped out of the race for attorney general, is flush with $1 million in campaign contributions.
Joe Negron is an “average Joe” and unlike Tim Mahoney (D) is a lifelong Florida resident who grew up in the district:
Joe Negron, State Representative, District 82, State of Florida. Joe Negron is a native Floridian born in West Palm Beach and is a lifelong resident of Martin and Palm Beach Counties. He received an undergraduate degree from Stetson University, where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, and a law degree from Emory University. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in November, 2000, from House District 82. His district serves Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties. Representative Negron has concentrated his legislative efforts on environmental issues, education reform and insurance issues.
Joe was born in 1961, is married to Rebecca (a maternity nurse), and has three children David, Jonathan, Becca.
What attracted Tim Mahoney (D) to move to Florida in the first place?In 1998 Mahoney moved to Florida to help a Scotland-based company with a spinoff. Hmm, that will be fun to splain.
The South Florida Sun Sentinal gives Joe five stars as they wrote in May 2006:
Negron is a disciplined fiscal conservative. But he’s not a stodgy budget cruncher. Negron made friends among Democrats and Republicans as the affable House budget chairman who opened the state’s wallet for major increases in school and courts funding. Thanks to a revenue windfall, Negron found it easy in the $71.3 billion budget to meet legislators’ hefty election-year spending requests. He authorized millions for hometown projects. He also tried to satisfy Gov. Jeb Bush’s push for tax cuts and savings. As the former chairman of the Palm Beach County legislative delegation, Negron steered money to dozens of local schools, roads, water treatment projects and law enforcement training.
Where does Joe stand on the issues? Well, you can go to “Project Vote Smart” and check. I can say that the Christian Coalition has recently given him a 100% rating that will be of great importance in mobilizing the homeschool community and the loacl church groups:
2005-2006 Representative Negron supported the interests of the Christian Coalition of Florida 100 percent in 2005-2006.
A few words: from Joe when he was running for Attorney General that will appeal to ones libertarian instinct:
Rep. Negron believes that our rights and freedoms do not come from the government, but instead are granted to us by our Creator through our Constitution. Rights are not self-executing; it is the responsibility of the Attorney General to be a guardian of our individual liberties. Rep. Negron will safeguard our right to bear arms, our right to worship or not worship as we see fit, our right to dissent, our right to bring up our children as we see fit and our right to be left alone. We live in a representative democracy. The people are sovereign and the government is in place to serve and protect, not to control.
In addition to being an “average Joe” that does not live in a gated community (unlike his Democrat opponent), Joe has a proven track record as a politician, has funding and has already served the people in his community.
UPDATE: Longtime reader and fellow Floridian, “Another Thought” sums up this race exactly:
All Republicans/conservatives need to rally behind Negron and push this guy to victory to send a message.
There’s no reason to punish Negron for Foley’s sins. And there’s every reason to punish the Dems for holding this story back until now, and not really caring about justice or the welfare of those interns.
-- Oak Leaf