02 May 2005

Maddox takes lead in Gov. race, not even running yet

Despite an embarrassing tenure as state chair of the Florida Democratic Party, Scott Maddox remains the Democratic frontrunner in the race for the governor. The irony is that he isn't even a candidate ... well, not yet. Most party insiders expect him to announce his candidacy after stepping down as chair this weekend, when party leaders meet in Orlando to elect Maddox's successor.

As today's Palm Beach Post reported, Congressman Robert Wexler and various local Democratic Party leaders have decided to back Maddox to be their nominee for governor. Of course, one may easily dismiss this endorsement since in Palm Beach County, the Democrats are considered to be somewhat of a joke. For the past few years, Palm Beach Democrats have played the part of the Washington Generals while the local GOP has assumed the role of the Globetrotters, dancing around and playing games with the Democrats almost at will. Still, it would be unwise for state Senator Rod Smith (D-Gainesville) or Congressman Jim Davis (D-Tampa) to ignore this move, because Congressman Wexler does carry some weight in the county. Whether they want to admit it or not, this endorsement is a major coup for Maddox.

The primary election for governor is almost a year and a half away, but Maddox has already positioned himself to take the nomination. Most believe that Maddox is unelectable in the general election, especially if Charlie Crist is the GOP nominee, but that is not Maddox's concern right now. He knows that his first hurdle is in September 2006, and he appears poised to clear it with room to spare.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember, Howard Dean had all the endorsements and led in the polls well before the Iowa caucuses. That didn't work out that well for him. I think it is stupid for any candidate to get excited about anything at this stage of the game.

5:41:00 PM  
Blogger Robert C. said...

He'll announce June 7.

8:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maddox has to be the front runner in the primary, something that is rather remarkable given his rather poor record as Party chair. If we could only take Jim Davis' record and ethics, combined with Maddox's energy.

Then again, more stories about him giving out $100,000 contracts to his buddies won't endear him to Democrats who have put up with Bush-style cronyism for nearly eight years.

10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the polling I've seen Maddox wasn't the frontrunner. Davis was. Maybe different polls say different things? Which poll were you referring to?

1:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Polling this far out is more for sport than for research. I think most people assume Maddox will be strong because he is easily the most liberal--and the most energetic/charasmatic of the three. He is the red meat candidate that liberal south florida voters will love. In a race where the winner takes all in the first primary, he starts out with the edge.

Now don't take that as an endorsement of his candidacy, in fact, far from it. Maddox's biggest enemy is Maddox himself, and without a quick lesson in political maturity, his could be in for a short ride (ie, having your press secretary talk about her $100,000 contract/parachute, etc.).

Without knowing much about him or his campaign, it appears he suffers from an ailment that so many public officials face---the problem of surrounding yourself with people who are more concerned with telling you how great you are than giving good advice. Just look at the press stuff over the years on the website---most of it is about Maddox, not about the Party or message.

Maddox could yet be a great candidate, but will need to change his M.O. if he plans to take it to the next level. At least, that is my humble opinion.

10:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reality is that many of these endorsements from Palm Beach County are totally irrelevent. As George Bennett mentioned in his story, many of the same leadership endorsed McBride in the primary and he ended up with less than 33% countywide. The condos themselves are less and less a dominant factor in Democratic primary politics, making some of these endorsements less of a factor than 8-12 years ago.

8:51:00 AM  

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