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Competing endorsements in Palm Beach County senate races

by Dara Kam | July 11th, 2012

Palm Beach County legislative candidates nailed down several endorsements recently, including support from polar opposites in the Senate District 27 primary contest between Democratic state Reps. Jeff Clemens and Mack Bernard.

The all-Palm Beach County senate district race is shaping up to be a business vs. labor union battle, not an unusual platform for many campaigns. Except this race is between two Democrats, who rarely receive glowing endorsements from business-backed lobbies (except in Democratic primaries.)

Two of the state’s biggest labor unions – the AFL-CIO and SEIU – are backing state Rep. Jeff Clemens, a Lake Worth Democrat, Clemens’ campaign announced today. The AFL-CIO also endorsed Clemens in his run for the House seat he now holds.

Rep. Mack Bernard, D-West Palm Beach, nailed down an endorsement from the Florida Chamber of Commerce today. Bernard already has the endorsement of one of Florida’s other top business lobbies – Associated Industries of Florida. The newly drawn District 27 seat stretches generally west of the turnpike in Palm Beach County.

The Chamber also endorsed state Rep. Joe Abruzzo, D-Wellington. Abruzzo will face off against the winner of a GOP primary between Melanie Peterson and Geoff Sommers.

Avoiding what might have been a brutal primary against Abruzzo, Sachs is running for the new Democratic-leaning District 34, a Palm Beach-Broward seat, against Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale.

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15 Responses to “Competing endorsements in Palm Beach County senate races”

  1. Democrat? Says:

    What kind of Democrat gets endorsed by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida?!? Those are the BIG BUSINESS lobbies!
    The Chamber and AIF fights every pice of good consumer legislation in this state and were the prime movers behind all of the corporate tax cuts we’ve been giving.
    They both endorsed RICK SCOTT, for pete’s sake!!!
    I will NEVER vote for an AIF or Chamber-endorsed candidate. They are just right-wing extremist groups.

  2. Jon Says:

    Mack Bernard’s campaign is run by republicans, funded by republicans, and supported by Republican interest groups….

    He is NOT a democrats. He’s an opportunist looking to get along to play along. We need a Senator in Tallahassee to stand up to Republican policies that have destroyed our state- not relinquish our values and ideals by voting for those policies.

    Jeff has my vote!

  3. Yikes Says:

    LOL!!!
    I can’t believe Mack Bernard would actually want people to know what a tool of the business groups that he is. I wonder if his campaign announced these endorsements (gosh, I hope not!) or if the Chamber did before he could find a way to stop them.
    Folks, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is not your local small business group. It’s backed by big banks, big insurance, and big, big money.
    At least we know Bernard won’t have any trouble raising cash in this race.
    The real question is: who is working for, his constituents or the big business lobbyists?
    We all know the answer to that.
    Just change parties, Mack!

  4. Heather Says:

    Clemens is a joke and so is the local unions. I would not vote for Larry, Curly or Moe. Bernard is at least smart. Clemens & Abruzzo…dumb and dumber.

  5. Good one! Says:

    Good one, Heather! When you’re writing these snappy zingers (Clemens is a joke and so is the local unions), perhaps you should take a second to see how intelligent you sound. And if Bernard is so smart, why is he working a job for $29,000 a year?
    Look, if the question is, do I go with local union people or Tallahassee big-business types, that’s not even really a question, is it?
    It’s really no contest. I’m not voting for someone who is in the pocket of the big insurance companies. Bernard should go back to the House and clean his record up a bit. Vote more like a Democrat.

  6. Tiffany Says:

    I’m sorry, Heather. If you’re going to publish idiotic remarks without any factual content and call people dumb, maybe you should learn how to use correct grammar first.

  7. What??? Says:

    I love the commenter who said “Bernard is at least smart.”
    If he’s that smart, why does he vote for big insurance and big business while running for office in a solidly Democratic county? Seems to me that someone who is smart wouldn’t sell-out their constituents if they want to get re-elected. Seems to me that someone who is smart might not want to let people he represents know he’s a shill for the Florida Chamber.
    He may be book smart, and I would even question that. But he’s being played like a fiddle in this campaign.

  8. Macks the guy Says:

    If you check their voting records as House Members they voted exactly the same.
    On all bills except one. You research their records,to determine what they disagree on.

  9. Facts are stubborn Says:

    Ummmm. Ok “Macks the guy.” I just did that. And what you wrote was simply not the truth.
    They voted differently on school vouchers (Bernard in favor, Clemens against).
    They voted differently on corporate tax cuts (Bernard in favor, Clemens against).
    They voted differently on public school prayer (Bernard in favor, Clemens against).
    They voted differently on homeowners insurance rate hikes (Bernard in favor, Clemens against).
    They voted differently on expedited mortgage foreclosures (Bernard in favor, Clemens against).
    Now that we’ve proved your comment inaccurate, is Mack still “the guy”?
    Here’s a “research” assignment for you. Find me a bad bill the Clemens voted for and that Mack voted against. Best of luck!!

  10. PBCDems2012 Says:

    i’m voting and supporting MACK BERNARD because he is a family man, hard worker, made something of himself…from nothing, ROTC guy, a guy who actually gets stuff done. He has never voted 100% with anyone or group. Not controlled and not a party puppet. I stand with who can think on their own and has cohones. MACK BERNARD, Believe it or not, is the future of our democratic party. Along with Dave Aronberg and others. Most Americans are in the middle…Jeff is a liberal extremist, Rick Scott is a conservative extremist…both divisive and crippling our state. Look at his votes…against, against, against, against. He gets nothing done in the Fla House and knows nothing about business and the economic development. He thinks poor black kids should go to substandard second class schools. I’d rather eat than be filled with hot air. You Jeff people can talk all you want, you know not much about campaigning and elections. See you at Senator BERNARD’s victory party. MACK BERNARD will win this election! (i’ve been doing this for 22 years and have only been wrong with Alex Sink)

  11. All American Says:

    Mack is going to win. Say what you want but he has WAAAAY more momentum going into the finish.They are CLEARLY out-working Clemens and people are already wondering if Clemens underestimated Mack’s Campaign team. The unions should have stayed out of it.

  12. Yes! Says:

    I am begging Debbie Wasserman Schultz to run for governor of FL in 2014.

    Run, Debbie, run!

  13. Fed Up Says:

    @Yes you are so right. She is who we need in Tallahassee.

  14. Jon Says:

    Mack Bernard would rather sell out his democratic ideals and values (or what he has left of them) to vote for Republican Legislation in order to gain some sort of notoriety in Tallahassee.

    We dont need another empty suit in Tallahassee that is going to play along to get along with the extremists in RPOF that have destroyed our state over the last decade. We need a fighter, not a people pleaser.

  15. Kevinmiller Says:

    Thanks for the post. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!

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