Winners and Losers In Yesterday’s Election


This election produced its usual crop of winners and losers.  Here is my list:


WINNER:  Ellyn Bogdanoff and Jeff Atwater

These two Tallahassee veteran Republicans bucked the Democratic tide to win re-election by landslide proportions.

Bogdanoff won with 59 percent to Democratic nominee Chris Chiari’s 41 percent. 

Atwater won with 62 percent to Democratic challenger Linda Bird’s 36 percent and some scattered votes for a third candidate.

A personal note here:  My son Aaron Nevins is an aide to Bogdanoff.

About a month ago, I advised Aaron to dust off his resume because Bogdanoff could be swept away in what was sure to be a Democratic tidal wave.

The election approached and I saw more and more signs of Chiari including a Broward Democratic Party cable ad promoting him. I became convinced Bogdanoff was a loser.

Aaron kept telling me that internal GOP polling showed her comfortably ahead.

She won.  I was wrong.

The best part?  Aaron still has a job and won’t be moving back home anytime soon!

WINNER:  Negative advertising

Sheriff Al Lamberti’s relentless negative advertising, funded with a two to one advantage in Republican money, caused enough voters to doubt Democrat Scott Israel.

Lamberti edged out Israel despite the Democratic avalanche in Broward for Barack Obama

Lamberti  (in uniform) campaigning among Obama supporters on election day.  In the center is Alan Cherry, former assistant city editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

LOSER:  Judy Stern

Known as a political magician, Stern couldn’t pull the rabbit out of her hat this time.  This political consultant’s big client, Israel, lost. 

Israel was on the defensive the entire general election. Stern couldn’t reverse his fall or figure out how to counter the assault of the negative ads.

WINNER:  Stacy Ritter and Russ Klenet

County Commissioner Ritter was one of Barack Obama’s earliest supporters among elected officials.  U. S. Rep. Robert Wexler of Palm Beach County was another.

They took significant political risk because most of the Democratic establishment was supporting Hillary Clinton.  Ritter was even booed at Kings Point condominiums for backing Barack.

No more brickbats for Ritter.  Stacy and her lobbyist husband Klenet immediately become go-to folks for favors from Washington.

If I was Klenet, I would be looking for a townhouse in Washington.   His services will be in demand in the nation’s capital.

Ritter is rumored to have her eye on Wexler’s congressional seat, if he makes a move to join Obama’s administration.

LOSER:  Broward’s Democratic Party organization

Yes, Obama won a big margin in Broward which enabled him to win Florida.

The rusty Broward Democratic Party machine under Mitch Ceasar had little to do with the win.  It was Obama’s message of a new beginning, eight year’s of George W. Bush and the sinking economy that got Democrats to volunteer for Obama.

On the competitive local races that counted,  the local party came up empty.  Lamberti, Bogdanoff and Atwater proved that once again the Democratic Party organization is a paper tiger.

LOSER:  Endorsements and Money

Ann Murray, a Broward schools transportation administrator, beat the darling of the good ol’ boys and girls, Richard Saltrick.

Saltrick, an engineer, received almost every political endorsement.

He got the backing of Broward’s two daily newspapers.

Five members of the School Board, County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger, Property Appraiser Lori Parrish and State Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, supported Saltrick.  They were featured in his ads.

Insiders got Saltrick money from special interests like Vista Health Plans, lobbyists Bernie Friedman and Neil Stirling, McKinley Financial Services, consultant Tom McDonald and school builder James Pirtle.

Saltrick had $94,000 compared with Murray’s $35,000, which included $25,000 of her own money.

None of it mattered.  Not the endorsements from big shots. Not the money.

LOSER:  Pundits

Just yesterday, I predicted that Lamberti and other Republican incumbents were in trouble.  My prediction was echoed by other local prognosticators of politics.

I was wrong.  No surprise.

Even a guy like me who has been in politics more than three decades doesn’t have a crystal ball this year. Especially this year.

Just six months ago, pundits like me assured everybody that today we would be heralding in a new era in America.  The era of President Hillary Clinton or President Rudy Giuliani.


11 Responses to “Winners and Losers In Yesterday’s Election”

  1. Floridan says:

    To be fair to the Broward Dems, the extremely well-organized Obama campaign pretty much sucked the air (as in money and volunteers) out of many local races.

  2. the real democrat says:

    The Broward Democratic Party has been a joke for 10 years. Mitch Ceasar is to busy trying to find lobbying work to worry about electing any one. The party needs new leadership NOW. Democrats need to remember that when the chair is voted on next month.

  3. JJ says:

    Lamberti won because enough people (thankfully) saw through the crap Israel was trying to pull to find a man (Lamberti) who TRULY deserves the position. Israel would have ruined BSO. So thank you to all those democrats who were smart enough to do their homework and not just vote down party lines.

  4. Valkyrie says:

    LOSER: Scott Rothstein and Co.
    After spending 1/2-million on Lamberti’s negative ads; Lamberti squeaks by with an election that still isn’t certified. Better to barrage voters lies and B.S. than tell the truth appears to be the m-o.
    Why couldn’t Lamberti just run on his record? Desperate law enforcement officers do desperate things. NOTE TO SHERIFF: You’re now beholden to those in the gutter. I feel sorry for those who live in Broward County and were influenced by ads paid for by sleazy rich Republican lawyers with no morals.

  5. democrats united says:

    Mitch Ceasar has got to go!
    What the hell is he doing, anyway?

  6. lambertimustwin says:

    I heard on Channel 4 that there is 16,000 votes still uncounted. Lamberti has to win.I worked at FLPD when Israel was a cop, barely. He is not fit to be sheriff.

  7. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Buddy besides Judy Stern being a big loser you forgot the supposedly all knowing, Barbara Miller, her candidate Saltrick lost big time, his money didn’t mean a thing. I think Rick is an intelligent and nice young man and I think the backing of the mob…AKA Miller and Sterling did him harm.
    Ann will do a great job she knows the system and knows what needs to be fixed, she will wake up the sleeping deadwood on the School Board. The double dipping bi shots better duck their ugly little heads. Term limits are a must on the School Board and County Commission.

  8. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Ann needs to look into all of the returning retirees from the School Board who are returning at their exit salaries. They have already got a substantial DROP package. Come on greedy people leave room for the up and coming. Someone who’s been there.

  9. Richard J Kaplan says:

    Strange, I saw some negative ads on the Sheriff’s race, but after seeing all the presidential ads, I was sort of couldn’t care less about the sheriff ads. I was numb.

    I think the biggest problem for Israel was that Laberti has acted as a competent low key administrator as Sheriff, and the public responded positively to it. Contary to prior high profile sheriffs.

    I can’t tell you how many people had told me they have liked him for many years, and that the ads didn’t make much difference. And these people were from all political parties. Impressive.

    PS I felt I was a winner in what I was supporting won.

  10. Paul Rolf says:

    Judy Stern- loser-loser-loser-loser

    Under Scott Isreal BSO would have been a criminal enterprize, Judy as the Queen-bee.

  11. In the know says:

    I had Lamberti winning. good call. collected against fellow consultants too.