The Open Senate Seat in Florida

Today the drama continues on what will happen with Florida’s open Senate seat, vacated by Senator Mel Martinez. One blogger believes Anitere Flores is the right person for the job. In post: Crist’s No-Brainer: Anitere Flores for U.S. Senate.

Flores, a 32 year-old Cuban-American conservative, expressed her interest in the job to Crist last Wednesday – and while I was shocked to hear that a young rising star would be interested in serving one year as a caretaker Senator, the idea of putting her in the Senate struck me as a fantastic idea and the strongest move that Crist could make.

Think about this, by appointing the young spit fire, Crist sends somebody to Washington who will provide a strong, dynamic voice for Florida in Martinez’s absence. He also puts someone in the seat who is clearly not a “caretaker”, but rather launching the career of a woman who would likely remain a strong player in Florida – and potentially come back to unseat Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in 2012. And, of course, there’s the chance to appoint the first Latina ever to serve in the Senate and take a bite out of Rubio’s Cuban-American base in South Florida.

I still am a Marco Rubio fan but find this new drama in the race very interesting. The post also mentions my old boss, Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart as a possible candidate.

We know that the Governor is already considering making an unexpected move by asking Lincoln Diaz-Balart to apply – as he is relatively young, Hispanic, and conservative. Diaz-Balart also happens to be Marco Rubio’s congressman and would offer Rubio a chance to run a more winnable race for U.S. House were  his seat to open up.

The Miami Herald also has a post on the case for a possible Senator Lincoln Diaz-Balart and what that would mean for south Florida politics.

Ana Navarro, a powerful lobbyist and fundraiser for South Florida made the case for Senator Lincoln Diaz-Balart:

“He’s the one guy who would hit the ground running and not need a map to find the Capitol. He’s a fiscal conservative and a social conservative who is also viewed as a Hispanic leader nationally, so Charlie could score some points with the Hispanic community that he just antagonized by opposing the Sotomayor nomination. It’s a must-win community for him in Florida.”

Stay tuned for more stories and updates. But we all know the final decision on how to fill the Senate seat will be whatever Crist thinks will make him look best….


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