BY BUDDY NEVINS
Does County Commissioner John Rodstrom dream of becoming Congressman John Rodstrom?
“It’s not the night to talk about it,” Rodstrom told me while at a Fort Lauderdale City Commission reelection campaign celebration for his wife, Charlotte Rodstrom.
But Democrat Rodstrom’s name immediately surfaced Tuesday after Republican U. S. Rep. Allen West said he was abandoning his seat to move north to a more friendly district.
West’s district is anchored on the south by a big piece of Fort Lauderdale, Rodstrom’s base for two decades.
House District 22, which stretches from Northeast Broward through Palm Beach County, already has two Democrats running in it – former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and environmental firm executive Patrick Murphy. They have already raised more than $3 million between them, which would make Rodstrom’s entrance into the race daunting.
“I’m familiar with the district. A couple of people have come to me about it,” Rodstrom said. “I can’t give you an answer today.”
A personal aside: I believe Rodstrom would make a great member of Congress. He is smart and has a solid background in local government. He is a moderate who is well-grounded in finance, which is the country’s biggest issue.
He really has little to lose, since he is term limited from the county commission later this year. Too bad such a race would be so tough for the Broward veteran.
Meanwhile, talk continues to circulate about Charlotte Rodstrom running for John’s current commission seat. She has a good, solid record on the Fort Lauderdale commission. She won a major victory Tuesday night, crushing her opponents with almost 80 percent of the vote. She would make a very credible candidate.
The problem: Former County Commissioner Ken Keechl is already running for the seat. Thus, Charlotte Rodstrom would be the second major Fort Lauderdale area Democrat in the race.
But 60 percent of the seat after redistricting is now south of State Road 84. It’s an area largely represented by the third Democrat about to jump into the race, state Rep. Evan Jenne of Dania Beach. He has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaigns in that part of the district in the last few years.
Would Keechl and Charlotte Rodsrom divide the Fort Lauderdale vote, leaving Jenne the bulk of the rest?
And 2012 is just getting underway!