BY BUDDY NEVINS
Jack Seiler: On the wrong side of history
Until this week, a large group of Fort Lauderdale residents believed their Mayor Jack Seiler could do no wrong.
Then he voted this week against a same-sex marriage resolution.
It passed 3-2 despite his “no” vote.
Usually a forward-thinker, Seiler is on the wrong side of history on this one. He voted against equality, which is hard to satisfactorily explain.
And Seiler suddenly has become a Democrat with a big stain on his political resume.
Whether Seiler irreversibly harmed his hope for higher office by opposing same-sex marriage remains to be seen. It surely didn’t help among Democrats.
Same-sex marriage is a bedrock Democratic position. It is overwhelmingly supported by the vast majority of Democratic voters.
ABC/Washington Post poll taken May 29-June 1 found that 67 percent of Democrats supported same-sex marriage, while only 28 percent opposed it.
(57 percent of independents supported it, while only 37 percent of Republicans supported it.)
That’s a national poll. No doubt the support in Fort Lauderdale, a same-sex friendly community, would be higher.
Trouble In Future Democratic Primaries
The mayor’s race in Fort Lauderdale is non-partisan so there is no party primary.
If Seiler moves almost anyplace on the political ladder, he would have a Democratic primary and that would be a problem for him. Seiler opposed a basic belief of the party!
Could this cost him the race? It depends on who else is running, of course, and a lot of other factors.
Seiler’s problem is magnified if he runs countywide in liberal Broward.
For instance, there is a conversation going on in the downtown Fort Lauderdale business community. Some believe Seiler would be a “perfect” candidate for any countywide mayor position…if that post were someday created in a referendum.
Seiler may be “perfect” to business types because of his pro-development positions. But he suddenly is not so “perfect” among a significant chunk of Democratic voters – the LGBT community and their supporters.
(The mayor could not be reached for comment.)