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FL-16: Chris Craft Drops Out

by: James L.

Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 2:25 PM EDT

It's all over now, baby blue:

Democratic St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Craft is dropping his bid for Congress against freshman U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, a Craft confidant says.

"I'm depressed," said local AFL-CIO President and Democratic activist Pat Emmert, a Craft backer who said Craft informed her of his decision this afternoon.

Efforts to reach Craft today have been unsuccessful.

In all honestly, this doesn't come as a surprise. Craft's candidacy received an initial flurry of buzz from the DCCC, but he mostly fell off the radar ever since. He also had some pretty significant fundraising difficulties, only raking in $42K in the fourth quarter of 2009. At this point, it's hard to blame Craft for preferring to keep his powder dry, as this wasn't shaping up to be much of a horserace.

RaceTracker Wiki: FL-16

James L. :: FL-16: Chris Craft Drops Out
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a moment I thought it said "Charlie Crist drops out". It wouldn't surprise me much. What bench do we have there? I know we wouldn't have picked up the seat anyway but we should still field a good candidate.

Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

Not much of one
from what I remember on the Maphoney discussions two years ago. No state legislators from the area IIRC.


My blog
28, New Democrat, Female, TX-03 (hometown CA-26)

[ Parent ]
State Senator Dave Aronberg was our best hope
and he opted for a three-way slugfest with Rod Smith and Dan Gelber for AG.  

34, WM, Democrat, FL-11

[ Parent ]
Doubtful even with Aaronberg
I grew up in Martin County and just went home to visit my parents. The housing crisis has hit the area really hard, especially in St. Lucie County. Port St. Lucie has seen a steep population drop and a few schools have closed. Without strong democratic turnout in St Lucie County, no democrat would stand a chance in the district since the 16th is incredibly gerrymandered (the neighboring 23rd is the same for democrats). There is no path to victory without a strong Port St. Lucie turnout.

26, gay male, Democrat, WA-07, born and raised in FL-16

[ Parent ]
Only $42,000 raised?
Anyway, who wants the FL-16 seat anyway? It's cursed like the frogurt.

Oh well.
This isn't a district we realistically have a shot at contesting anyway. It only flipped in 2006 because Foley was still on the ballot, and probably would've flipped back even if Mahoney hadn't turned out to be a first-class scumbag.

Kinda like NY-29 this cycle, though at least Massa made a positive contribution before his meltdown - he got Shotgun Randy Kuhl out of Congress.

Not likely
Mahoney was looking fine for re-election pre-blowup. GOP internal polling gave Mahoney a HUGE lead before the scandal broke.

[ Parent ]
It's only R+5
From your comment,

This isn't a district we realistically have a shot at contesting anyway

I would have thought it was R+20 or something.

This is exactly the kind of district where we have to keep the pressure on, especially when the opponent is a first-term member.

[ Parent ]
It might as well be in this environment

[ Parent ]
The environment is subject to change
There have been so many examples of good candidates being in place to take advantage of changes in either the local or/and national environment.

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  

[ Parent ]
But I seriously doubt it can change enough to make seats like this one competitive.

[ Parent ]
Probably not
But definitely not if no-one tries.

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  

[ Parent ]
On trend

IIRC it would be a 50/50ish district this year.  But it has population loss, which screws up any trend assessments.  From a distance it seems a district of undistinguished suburbia and strip malls and bland demographics, clearly gerrymandered (though not well) just to safely elect another generic Republican.

[ Parent ]
Too bad
Rooney is pretty hardcore conservative, and it's best to knock these types out early before they entrench. Hopefully we can make a decent shot at it in 2012, but we already dropped the ball back in '08 here, so I'm not too confident.  

Independent Socialist & Chair of SSP Cranky Indianian Hoosier Caucus, IN-09

We (Team Blue)
didn't drop the ball, Mahoney dropped the ball. We would have held the seat by a huge margin if it wasn't for him.

Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

[ Parent ]
Missed opportunity
...For a headline along the lines of "Chris Craft Jumps, Jumps Out of Race"

Kansan by birth, Californian by choice, and Gay by the grace of God.

Have to think longer term - a good candidate in '10 has a better chance in '12
Even if FL-16 is a losing proposition in '10, anyone who does half-well in '10 will be in an excellent position to take out Rooney in '12 with President Obama on top of the ticket.

Except: Craft was not on pace to do well at all.
I mean, if you get your ass utterly handed to you in one cycle, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence among the donor class when you're trying to raise money for a 2012 rematch.

Also, we have no idea what this district might look like in 2012.

[ Parent ]

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