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FL-18, FL-21, FL-25: Democratic Troika Complete?

by: James L.

Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 11:49 PM EST

As we wrote back in October, Democrats have been aiming to recruit three solid challengers to dislodge the heavily-entrenched trio of Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-21 and FL-25, respectively) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18).

The first heavy hitter, former Hialeah mayor Raul Martinez, threw his hat into the ring against Lincoln Diaz-Balart yesterday.

Are two more challengers on the way?  Local NBC6 political reporter Nick Bogert reports that the Democrats will field a full slate against the Miami-area incumbents:

Democrats hope to take on all three long-time Cuban-American congressional Republicans, Bogert said.

Miami-Dade County party chair Joe Garcia said he will challenge Mario Diaz-Balart, and businesswoman Annette Taddeo will take on Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Democrats may even set up political action committees to pay for advertisements attacking all three Republican incumbents, Bogert said. He said to expect Republicans to spend a lot to defend those seats.

Garcia, chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and former Cuban-American National Foundation executive director, is the real deal, and should be an excellent candidate.

This is the first I've heard of Annette Taddeo, but her official biography is impressive.

Get ready for some south Florida barn-burners.

James L. :: FL-18, FL-21, FL-25: Democratic Troika Complete?
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It's nice FL will have some action,
especially with Young not retiring.

I just wish my district had a shot of doing something other than re-electing our moronic Rep. Putnam.  He's young and dangerous that one.

I've heard before that it would be important to take on all 3 Cuban Republicans at once,
rather than trying to beat just one of them, or just one of them per cycle.

I assume this is because if a Dem ran against one, he'd essentially be running against the combined powers of all three, cause they'd all three unite to defeat him -- pool their money, pull their strings, campaign together, act as surrogate attack dogs, etc?  Whereas if you run three challengers at once, you spread them thinner?

I assume that's the only or main reason behind this line of thought, but if there's another rationale, I'd be interested to hear it.

Anyway, I'm very excited to see us challenging here.  This is exactly the kind of strategy we ought to have -- these are the kind of seats that I think we should challenge, where a Rothenberg might say we shouldn't bother.  

28, gay guy, Democrat, CA-08

Fun Fact

[ Parent ]
Like aspen?
Yes, I like your reasoning.

But also, they are all joined at the roots like aspen, as Scooter told Judy.

If and when the Cuban-American community changes its mind about how to deal with Cuba, and turns its back on the aged remnants of the Batista regime, the change will go across all these districts. So when the change comes, three candidates of change can displace three incumbent supporters of the frozen and failed policy -- all at once.

This is huge good news. Of course it's a chance to take down three Repub Congresscritters. But it's also a great way to clear the path for the next President to adopt a fresh policy toward Cuba. Compassionate reunification of families and unrestricted family visits. Freedom to send financial aid to family members in Cuba. Ending the embargo and allowing trade. Educational exchanges. Cruise ship tourism first and eventually full freedom for Americans to visit the forbidden island, and for Cubans to visit the US. Normalization and peaceful relations. Well, we can dream, can't we?.

[ Parent ]
The wave
I think it's a good idea to try to take all three out at once. There's actually a lot of benefits to this, mostly multiplied media attention and advertising, which would partly reach into the same markets. There's not a lot of differences between the three representatives (two of them are brothers!) so in some ways it will be possible to run against them all at once.

[ Parent ]
We have a great chance
in all of these districts.  These districts are trending our way.  Just look at the drop in the Bush vote in all of them from 2000 to 2004.  Even as Bush increased his percentage in the state from 48% to 52%, yet he fell from 57% to 54% in FL-18, and 58% to 57% in FL-21.  I looked through Taddeo's information and it looks like she would be a solid fit for FL-18.  

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