Dem Pac to Meek: Get out of the raceby Jane Musgrave | October 12th, 2010
Worried that Kendrick Meek can’t beat GOP candidate Marco Rubio, a group of Democratic leaders is asking the congressman to pull out of the U.S. Senate race and throw his support to Gov. Charlie Crist who says he is the only one who can beat Rubio.
Members of the People’s Choice of Palm Beach County PAC voted Monday to send County Commissioner Burt Aaronson a letter, asking him to relay their concerns to Meek, said Jay Weitz, president of the PAC that he says represents 80 to 85 percent of the Democratic clubs in the county.
Aaronson, who has been flirting with the idea of endorsing independent candidate Crist, is to meet with Meek on Wednesday to decide which of the two candidates will get his support.
In the letter, members of the PAC agreed to ask Aaronson to urge Meek to get out of the race “for the good of the Democratic Party,” Weitz said.
“I don’t think Kendrick Meek can win,” Weitz said. “He’s a fine gentleman but we don’t want Rubio.”
County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Alan Siegel downplayed the significance of the vote.
“It’s Burt writing a letter to himself,” he said initially. Later, after Aaronson said he wasn’t at the meeting when the vote took place, Siegel retracted the statement. Still, Siegel said the vote was improper. Many PAC members weren’t notified of the meeting. The 12 or so people who voted represent a fraction of the roughly 30 voting members of the PAC, he said.
The vote, he said, doesn’t represent dissension in the ranks. Rather, he said, it represents fear on the part of some Democrats. “There are always people who will break and run at the first sniff of (trouble),” he said.
But the fear that Meek can’t beat Rubio isn’t groundless. Polls have consistently shown Crist ahead of Meek. Siegel, however, said he expects that to change in the next week. Meek, he said, is surging while Crist is fading.
Aaronson said he would present the letter to Meek when they meet Wednesday. But, he said, he doesn’t plan to ask Meek to step down. Instead, he said, he will ask him how he plans to beat Rubio.
“This is a very difficult decision on my part,” he said. “But having been a loyal Democrat for many years, my conscience can not be cured if Marco Rubio were to become our senator.”