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Defying history, Palm Beach County Democrats ponder incumbent protection

by George Bennett | September 5th, 2011

As Palm Beach County’s Democratic Party considers a measure to protect incumbents from “unnecessary” primary challenges, it’s worth noting that some of the biggest local Democratic names of the last two decades were once outsiders who challenged incumbents in Democratic primaries.

Former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler first gained office by ousting Democratic incumbent Don Childers in a 1990 state Senate primary. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Klein‘s electoral debut was unseating Steve Press in a 1992 Democratic state House primary. County Commissioner Burt Aaronson won his seat by toppling Carole Phillips in a 1992 Democratic primary.

After giving up her state House seat in 1992 to pursue a failed congressional bid, Lois Frankel made a comeback in 1994 by challenging the one-term incumbent who had replaced her, former Frankel aide Mimi McAndrews, and defeating her in a memorably bitter Democratic primary.

Facing state House term limits in 2000, Addie Greene set her sights on the county commission and pushed aside veteran incumbent Maude Ford Lee in a Democratic primary.

State Rep. Irving Slosberg first gained office in 2000 by beating incumbent Curt Levine in a Democratic state House primary.

Tax Collector Anne Gannon made a failed try to defeat incumbent Suzanne Jacobs in a 1994 Democratic state House primary. Before winning his seat in 2010, state Rep. Steve Perman tried and failed to oust Richard Machek in a 2006 Democratic state House primary.

Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher won her nonpartisan office in 2008 by defeating incumbent and fellow Democrat Arthur Anderson.

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11 Responses to “Defying history, Palm Beach County Democrats ponder incumbent protection”

  1. Evil People Says:

    We live during dangerous times when those in power seek to change the rules and not allow the people to make a decision and vote.

    Beware of the evils in the democrat party. Just look at the those posted pictures and draw your own conclusion.

  2. Sandra Says:

    keep posting George…

  3. Annie Says:

    That is why this whole thing that the DEC wants to do is weak and undemocratic…get that Siegal out of the DEC and tell the elected officials to respect the process..period.

  4. Robert B Haigh Says:

    Evil People:
    You are a simpleton. Do you truly believe it is only in the Democratic Party that these things happen? PLEASE! Grow up. Idiots like you are the problem. You will vote based upon someone’s picture??

    I don’t know if you are too young, too old or just too stupid to have the right to vote.

    It is the right-wing that seeks to change the rules to silence the will of the working people and poor in this country. We can see right through their maze of laws they claim are meant to “protect elections.” At every turn they try to keep the poor, minorities and the working class from voting. Why do you think it is that the Federal government has to oversee redistricting in the south? It is because the right-wing rednecks can’t face the fact that those (oooh scary!!) And fighting at every turn to allow those who have served their time and been released from regaining the right to vote. Why are you so afraid of a level playing field. That is what TRUE Democrats (those who believe in equal rights, human rights, workers’ rights, REAL justice and equal protection uder the law) – not political whores (on both sides of the aisle) fight for. Unfortunately, those are also the ones who have no agenda, no ego and therefore, no desire to join in the cesspool that is the political arena.

  5. Downtown Danny Says:

    Lois Frankel has been playing dirty politics for 25 years. Now running for congress again after destroying WPB. When Frankel ran for Mayor (using money she raised as a congress candidate)she called Daves plan to spend $85 million on a new City Hall a “Taj Mahal” in flyers she sent out. Clematis was then thriving and 95% full. Frankel destroyed Clematis Street, raiding nightclubs and using code enforcement to close businesses. Then 2 of her closest allies on the commission went to jail – for abusing businesses downtown, Liberti was shaking down a property owner on her behalf to force a sale to one of Frankels developer pals. Frankel allowed any developer who came into town to build huge ugly buildings, while the small businessman could not get a permit to put up a new sign with going thru months of hassles. Frankel used profanity at public meetings, calling Mitchell “a piece of sh&*” during a meeting. Frankel then spent $400 million (more once bonds are paid)on a new city hall – telling residents she had a great deal for them with a buyer lined up for the old city hall. THAT WAS A LIE – the old city hall sits rotting while we pay for it. Frankel had her girlfriend put into an office right next to hers and allowed her to spend $33 million on building grass and sidewalks thru crooked contractors who left us with empty space no one ever goes to unless there’s a big event – the new library Frankel bragged about sucks and draws half the traffic the waterfront one did. Frankel then set about destroying moral at the police & fire departments – who both hate her and are not endorsing her run for congress. Meanwhile WPB citizens are left with over $600 million in bond debt that is due in massive balloon payments Frankel refuses to talk about. Frankel then had her son open a wine bar downtown after spending 7 years complaining about too many “alcohol only” businesses down town and then passed a ban against any more opening AFTER her son’s opened. LOIS FRANKEL IS THE WORST MAYOR IN WPB HISTORY AND IS NOT FIT FOR ANY PUBLIC OFFICE!

  6. Annie Says:

    Wexler destroyed the Democratic party helped by the big boss of Aaroonson.

  7. Kevin Duval Says:

    Lets be honest here. Until you get Erick Johnson out of the game, the party will be doomed to fail. Wexler allowed this pisher to run campaigns for Ds and Rs…now lets see what happens when Robert & Charlie are called in the Greer case.

    Aaronson, Wexler..the pisher will no longer control this party.

    Remember Wexler..never lived here, didn’t count your vote, stole money, gave Israel away and then came back to tell you to vote for a Republican. The little kid Michael Murphy has no chance against West.

    LEAVE BOBBY..and take your groupies Deutch, Slosberg, Klein with you.

  8. Searcher Says:

    Don’t protect Incumbents. If they want the job, they need to EARN IT!

  9. Democrats -Corrupt History Says:

    It was the southern DEMOCRATS who balked at Civil Rights. Get your facts correct. Democrats always blame, but fail to look in the mirror.

    DEMOCRATS in the south held up Civil Rights and required that the Feds come in.

    Democrats=Liars Corrupting history

  10. Sylvia Says:

    This is truly laughable! Democratic “so-called” leaders in south Fla. made the decision to not support a democrat,Kendrick Meek, instead . . . supported a republican, turned independent Charlie Christ, making sure the democrat would not win.

  11. Robert B Haigh Says:

    Corrupt History:
    Wow!! You have to go back almost fifty years to try to equate today’s Democrats with those who stopped civil rights?? How sad! That is just about as ludicrous as those ads the Republicans ran in the last election saying that today’s Republicans represent African Americans because it was Lincoln who ended slavery!! How laughable!

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