While big-name candidates running for the U.S. Senate or the governor’s office manage expensive and contentious campaigns, other candidates are running unopposed or against unknown candidates.
State Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, won the Aug. 24 Democratic primary for the U.S. House District 17 seat vacated by Kendrick Meek, and is one of those slated to win easily in the heavily Democratic voting district.
Anthony Man, political columnist for the Sun Sentinel, writes:
She’s a sure winner, so certain to become South Florida’s newest member of Congress that she was in Washington, D.C., last weekend meeting with future colleagues ready for her to join them.
Wilson is among nine Broward and Palm Beach office-seekers — from county commission candidates to contenders for the state Legislature — who are virtually guaranteed victories because their opponents are either unknown no-party hopefuls with little money or nearly invisible write-in candidates.
Man’s list of other candidates who face no serious opposition include former state Senate President Gwen Margolis, a Democrat, who is running for the state Senate District 35.
The list of unopposed state senators or those facing virtually unknown rivals does not end in South Florida.
State Sens. Rhonda Storms, R-Valrico, and Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Coral Gables, are running against write-in candidates. State Sens. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, David Simons, R-Altamonte Springs, Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and Mike Harodopolis, R-Melbourne, are running unopposed.
In his roundup, Man also includes state Reps. Ari Abraham Porth, D-Coral Springs, Mark Pafford D-West Palm Beach, Gwyndolen “Gwyn” Clarke-Reed, D-Deerfield Beach, Eddy Gonzalez, R-Hialeah, and Hazelle Rogers, D-Lauderdale Lakes.
Statewide there are 17 Republican and 14 Democratic current state House members running unopposed. This list includes state Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, who last month announced (along with Attorney General Bill McCollum) a proposal to introduce an immigration law similar to Arizona’s S.B. 1070 in Florida’s next legislative session.
According to Man, effective campaigns “take name recognition, political organization and money and no-party candidates don’t have much of any of those things.”
Frederica Wilson is not the only congressional candidate running unopposed.
U.S Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Jacksonville, will run against no-party and write-in candidates for his reelection, while U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, is running unopposed for the seat vacated by his brother Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Mario Diaz-Balart left his seat in District 25, where Democrat Joe Garcia and Republican David Rivera are now facing a tight race.