If ye socks needed any indication just how anxious we are in this little corner of heaven to be rid of the walking embarassment who "represents us" in Congress, ye need only take a look at just how crowded the GOP primary is to topple him. The candidates are:
Of Bieling and Fanelli, I know very little. I don't think anyone considers them to be serious contenders, though they could play spoilers in a race where every percent of the vote counts.
Sullivan is closely associated with the TEA Party folks around here, but her base seems to be primarily in Lake County.
Long comes with some serious baggage, left over from his race for this same seat two years ago. His frequent air time on local radio and the early and broad distribution of a book this year have kept him in the race. But, he is clearly not the best candidate.
The top tier, then, are Kelly, O'Donoghue, and Webster.
Frankly, yours truly would not be disappointed with any of these guys.
Webster has been a personal favorite since he endorsed Mike Huckabee back in 2008. He is a well-known quantity in these parts as the former leader of the state senate and, more recently, for investigating the shenanigans over at the Expressway Authority. The only knock on him is that he explicitly bowed-out of the race last year, only to jump back in later. This leaves me questioning whether he really has the fire in his belly to take on the dastardly incumbent . . .
I have had the opportunity to meet O'Donoghue over breakfast, and found him to be a charming (albeit understated) gentleman. He is "one of us," and as such would truly be representative of the district. But, I am concerned that he may be too urbane. How will he stack-up against the overwhelming personality of the general election opponent?
I have also had the opportunity to meet Kelly on a couple of occasions, most recently just this morning. He has already earned the endorsements of many of my friends and relations. After looking him in the eye and hearing his responses to today's questions about the campaign, I have been swayed into his camp. (Check out Kurt's site at http://www.kellyforcongress.com
But, again, I can live with any of the last three candidates. All are infinitely better than the goofball who currently disgraces Florida's 8th District.
Labels: Alan Grayson, Bruce O'Donoghue, Dan Fanelli, Dan Webster, Kurt Kelly, Mike Huckabee, Patricia Sullivan, Ross Bieling, Todd Long