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Column: Formula to measure Dem zeal for “public option”; potential Richmond challenger; Thomas’ options

by George Bennett | August 30th, 2009

Call it the Klein-Craft Axiom: In Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, Democratic enthusiasm for a government-run public health insurance plan to compete with private insurers is inversely proportional to the percentage of Republicans in one’s congressional district.

Wexler

Wexler

Liberal U.S. Reps. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, and Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, are vocal cheerleaders for the “public option” that is a centerpiece of the health care overhaul pushed by House Democratic leaders.
Hastings

Hastings

Wexler and Hastings represent slam-dunk Democratic districts.

But in nearby Palm Beach-Broward District 22, which has slightly more Republican voters than Dems, U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, approached the topic cautiously in a “telephone town hall” with constituents last week.

Klein

Klein

During the teleconference, Klein sounded as if he’s leaning toward the public option and rejected the argument that putting the federal government in the market would drive out private insurers.

But he stopped short of embracing it.

“I’m still looking at it. I haven’t committed to it yet,” Klein said of the public option. And as for the entire 10-year, $1 trillion House plan, Klein said he has problems with the price tag and described himself as “not quite there yet on saying I’m supporting the bill.”

Craft

Craft

Striking a similarly cautious tone is Democrat Chris Craft, the St. Lucie County commissioner drafted by national Dems to try to unseat freshman U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, in Republican-leaning congressional District 16.

The public option, says Craft, “is an option that’s on the table. I’m not 100 percent sold on it.”

* * *

Andrews

Andrews

Marcia Andrews, a former teacher and principal and school district administrator, is considering a run for the school board seat of veteran incumbent Sandra Richmond.
Richmond

Richmond

School board seats are nonpartisan. But here’s what makes Andrews’ potential bid interesting: she’s a member of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party’s executive board. And Richmond, elected six times since 1988, is one of the county’s longest-serving Democratic elected officials.

Siegel

Siegel

Party leaders traditionally discourage challenges of incumbents from within the party. County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel says he’s not backing Andrews, but hasn’t discouraged her, either, because “I don’t know if Sandi’s running again.”

Richmond says she’ll “probably” seek reelection next year.

* * *

Thomas

Thomas

Cedrick Thomas, who lost to Mack Bernard in last week’s special state House election, has to give up his Riviera Beach council seat Sept. 22 because he ran for the House.
Bernard

Bernard

But he doesn’t rule out seeking reappointment by the council.

Taylor

Taylor

Thomas is also weighing a 2010 challenge of Bernard or taking on County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor, who was a key Bernard backer.

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8 Responses to “Column: Formula to measure Dem zeal for “public option”; potential Richmond challenger; Thomas’ options”

  1. MDI Says:

    What about Wexler pushing Crist’s guy?
    When Thurman, Meek and the progressives say it is all in the family, Wexler backs the Republicans..He is a joke but the people and issues are not.

    If Wexler runs and wins again…people are really stupid.

    The chairman is a joke, the congressman is a joke but the people are not.

    Watch how all the young people are coming out to vote in 2010..they are not.

    The Democrats are just as corrupt.

  2. Ed Fulop Says:

    If you really want to see where Klein stands on this issue, go to YouTube, and search for the debates between he and Allen West last October. The questions came up then as well, and his views were party line liberal. Any change in that stance is just political hackery and “triangulation” to try and keep his job next fall. DON’T BE FOOLED!!

  3. GG Says:

    Hope Marcia Andrews runs for the school board seat.

    Time for change and Andrews is a key person to initiate it.

    Go MARCIA! You’ve got my vote!

  4. Fay Says:

    Mr. Thomas needs to take a step back and breathe. The people within District 84 spoke load and clear and elected Mr. Bernard even though the #1 arugment was he did not live here and knew our issues. I say take this time not to jockey for position but to learn why did we did not vote for you and why they might not support you in any other upcoming elections.

    Don’t seek appointment to the seat, don’t run against Ms. Taylor or Mr. Bernard. Go and learn! Watch the game from the sideline build a coalition of volunteers and TRUE friends and then come back. You are young and vibrant. Learn the issues and become the community voice that we are missing. That can be done without being on dias. Take my words and listen wisely. Good luck Mr. Thomas

  5. tracey mack Says:

    are there any true friends in Riviera Beach? Why should Mr. Thomas have to take a back seat, most of the people in Riviera Beach do not vote anyway, so why sit back and wait until you all pretend to like Mr. Thomas. Yes he is young and that’s the problems with most of the citizens in Riviera Beach is, they dont want to see a young and promising black man try and help you all get it together. I did not vote for Mack Bernard because I attended every forum that was held and he did not impress me at all. He did not know the difference between Belle Glade and the Acregage. He dodge around every question that was given to him. At least Mr. Thomas did try to explain some of the problems that we will face in the upcoming year.Mr. Bernard did not do one ad for himself, all you heard was Addie Green and Ms. Taylor, which if you knew Mr. Thomas, you would have known most of what they were saying were lies.But thats politics, but remember Ms. Taylor your time is coming for election, look behind you because who ever run against you that’s who will get my vote.

  6. Danielle and TG Says:

    Oaky, the war has begun again. I don’t think we should start a war with the only two seats that we have. I really do beleive that the Black Elected officals and the DEC need to sit down and start drafting people who want to run and train and groom them for such. There tends to be a grab and a void becasue who is grooming our next leaders. They are out there figthing against each other and not supporting each other. I agree with Fay (if that is her name) that Mr. Thomas should take this to reflect and figure out why he had so many from the top aganist him. They choose Mr. Bernard. I voted for Cedrick becasue he lived in the district and I felt he would better represent me however that is not the case. Who else is out there and how can we get to know who they are? Help me with that and let us encourage them to come out of the woodwork so that we can mentor them.

  7. riviera beach tax payer Says:

    Danielle,I dont know if you are familiar with the politics of Palm Beach County, but if you are not a puppet for some of the so called high officials in the county you are not liked. If you do not do them favors you are not liked. This is the problem in the communities where there are certain officials who will do whatever it take to win a seat. A lot of the officials are not for the people, they are for their buddies, in the District 84 race this guy was as unprepared as a new comer could be. He will or he did ride into winning on Addie Green and Priscilla Taylor coat tails. The voters will see when he arrive in Tallahasee how much he knows about the people needs in the district.

  8. Dem challenger Craft says he would have voted for health care bill, against abortion restrictions | Post on Politics Says:

    [...] in August said he was “not 100 percent sold” on a public option for health insurance. Since then, he said, he’s become convinced that [...]

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