BY BUDDY NEVINS
In the past an off election year like 2015 would be dull, dull, dull for political junkies.
With the advance of the 24/7 Internet bringing with it a bunch of new media outlets (Facebook,Twitter, RedBroward, BrowardPolitics, JAABlog, etc.) and the increasingly cost of campaigning requiring non-stop fund raising, there is no down time for politics.
So much is expected to happen next year I am spreading my predictions into several posts.
The first chapter is below
Newly-elected Bogen has the intelligence and boldness to shake up the hidebound Broward County Commission. He is a newcomer to politics and largely paid for his own campaign, which means he doesn’t owe anything to the same ‘ol lobbying and political crowd.
Bogen is a guy who thinks out of the box. I’m hoping that he can come up with new approaches to government.
Last May, Forbes Magazine was impressed with Bogen’s latest venture – trading loyalty program points at airlines, hotels or other businesses for some serious face time with major athletes.
Forbes wrote about it under a headline: Why Entrepreneurs Need To Think Outside the Box.
The long-time chair of the Broward Democratic Party has told just about everybody except the voters that he is running for county commission starting in 2015.
A Brooklyn-born brash quipster, he’s shrewd politician with media savvy who helped organize the Tamarac Democratic Club while in college and has been a force in Broward politics ever since. Ceasar has held on to his job as the elected leader of the party despite repeated challenges.
But the only ones who vote in party elections are a few hundred Democratic committeemen and committeewomen. Ceasar hasn’t been tested outside cloistered confines of the party organization. (He did run for state House as a youth and lost. That doesn’t count.)
His unmatched ability to speak in clever sound bites on MSNBC and in the pages of the New York Times counts little in a commission race. It will be interesting to see in the coming year if Ceasar can broaden his base and his appeal to the general public.
State Senate District 29:
Winding from Coconut Creek along the western border of Broward to roughly Southwest Ranches, this seat that is open in in 2016 promises to be a multi-million dollar donnybrook. It starts in 2015.
The only candidate in the race so far is former state Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek. He won’t stay alone in the race for long.
Gary Farmer, a Democratic lawyer, is eyeing the race. Just-elected Coral Springs Mayor Sklp Cambell has shown an interest in the Senate seat in the past.
Don’t be surprised if a female candidate – newly-electe state Rep. Kristin Jacobs? – jumps in.
Waldman has the backing of much of Tallahassee, including physicians. Farmer will have the trial Bar with him. Campbell, a former Senator, can get money from both.
And all three — Waldman, Farmer and Campbell — have personal wealth.
So the candidates will have the cash to make this one visible very early in the cycle.
Robert Runcie and the School Board:
With an extra $800 million from the recently passed bond issue in their pockets, now the hard part comes — Runcie and the School Board will now have to prove they can spend it wisely.
They have ducked real outside supervision – despite promises –so parents and perhaps the media must keep them in line.
Encountering no foul-ups is vital for member Robin Bartleman’s political future. She has talked about campaigning for a county commission seat in 2016.
How they use the bond money could be the most important political story of 2015. Is Runcie and the Board up to the task?
We’ll soon see.