Two Weeks Before a Special Election, are Florida Dems Already Giving up?

by | Sep 13, 2017

There are two special elections scheduled to take place in less than two weeks in hurricane-ravaged Miami-Dade County. It appears the Florida Democratic Party is concerned about only one of those races– the one they feel they have the best shot of winning.

Both elections are set for Sept. 26. They are being held to fill the vacant seats in Senate District 40 and House District 116.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the state Democratic chairman is asking Gov. Rick Scott to postpone the election to fill the Senate seat until October 11.

“The Southern portions of Miami-Dade County are among the hardest hit parts of our state with a great percentage of our homes without power,” wrote Chairman Stephen Bittel. “Schools are closed indefinitely and government and utility workers believe the cleanup efforts will continue for a long time.”

Nowhere in his letter does the chairman ask that the special election to fill the vacant House District 116 seat, scheduled for the same day and in the same county as the Senate election, be pushed back.

In his letter, Bittel writes the extra time would ensure the community has had the “necessary time to heal.” But why does the “community” need to heal before the Senate election and not for the House election? Again, they are on the same day, in the same county.

Could it be the Democrats don’t have much confidence in their House candidate?

It just so happens the Democrat in that race, Gabriela Mayaudon, doesn’t appear to stand much of a chance. Her last campaign finance report showed she had raised less than $3,000, with a third of that coming from a personal loan.

Her opponent, Republican Daniel Perez, says he’s ready for the election whether the date is changed or not.

“My campaign is ready to move forward with early voting beginning this Saturday as previously set by Governor Scott,” Perez said. “If the governor decides it is in the best interest of the community to postpone early voting and/or election day, we will adjust our campaign accordingly.”

The Senate race has Democrat Annette Taddeo going against Republican Jose Felix Diaz.

There’s no word yet from the Governor’s Office as to whether Scott will delay the Senate, or the House election.

Efforts to get a comment from Mayaudon or the Florida Democratic Party explaining why the party is asking that one contest be moved and not the other–in the same county–went unanswered.

Perhaps the answer is that Florida Democrats want to quickly remove the debris left behind by two disasters–Irma and the House District 116 race.



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