Democrat Jacobs kicks off congressional campaign, calls primary foe Frankel ‘divisive’by George Bennett | February 20th, 2012
Jacobs, a 14-year veteran of the Broward commission, is starting the race for Palm Beach-Broward District 22 nearly one year and $1.4 million behind Frankel, the former West Palm Beach mayor and former state House member who has garnered a slew of endorsements.
Jacobs made her announcement at a 1920 school house near a bridge that links Broward and Palm Beach counties. Jacobs, who pushed for the bridge project after Congress approved the $787 billion stimulus in 2009, said the project is emblematic of her ability to “navigate the impossible and find solutions.”
Jacobs didn’t mention Frankel by name in her remarks, but clearly referred to Frankel’s fiery reputation and 14 years of Tallahassee experience.
“They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So here’s the thing, if we want the same results we’ve been getting – a more bitterly divided House where our work is not being done — then let’s send a divisive insider to Washington,” Jacobs said.
“If we want to do nothing but fight while our middle class gets shoved to the edges of our society, then let’s send another pay-to-play Tallahassee politician to Congress. But if we want to stop the insanity and we want to preserve America’s greatness, we need to make a difference. Friends, I am that choice. I am that choice. I am the difference that Congress needs.”
Afterward, Jacobs confirmed the “divisive insider” and “pay-to-play” remarks were aimed at Frankel.
Jacobs said she doesn’t see many differences between herself and Frankel on issues.
“On our core Democratic principles, there are no differences,” Jacobs said in a brief interview.
She said the primary will show “the contrast between the two of our styles in particular.
“One is a consensus builder. One is someone who’s kind of gotten what she wanted by fear and intimidation. And I don’t think that builds loyalty and from what I’ve been seeing in the community when I go out, there is a decided frustration with that kind of quote-unquote leadership and that we really need somebody that’s going to go up there and bring solutions back.”
Asked about Jacobs remarks, Frankel said: “I look forward to fighting for working people and jobs in South Florida, as I did in the legislature and as mayor of West Palm Beach. My record shows I know how to get results, which is why so many people have endorsed me.”
Frankel’s endorsements include some leading Broward County Democrats: Commissioner Sue Gunzburger, state Sens. Nan Rich and Chris Smith and state Reps. Perry Thurston and Joe Gibbons.
Frankel entered the race last March to take on freshman U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation. With the Florida legislature drawing the district with a more Democratic tilt, West announced Jan. 31 that he would run instead in Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18.
Jacobs announced plans to run a few days later. While Frankel is one of the top money-raisers in the nation, Jacobs said she hopes to raise $250,000 by March 31, the end of the first-quarter reporting period.
About 60 supporters were on hand for Jacobs’ announcement. She was introduced by Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom, who had been considering getting into the congressional race but instead praised Jacobs.
Palm Beach County Democratic State Committeeman John Ramos and Palm Beach County Democratic activist Bill Weg were on hand, but both said they are neutral in the race.
On the Republican side, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner of Boca Raton is running and Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca has said he might enter the race.