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With Hasner passing up run for Murphy seat, GOP field appears set in congressional race

Monday, January 27th, 2014 by George Bennett

Hasner, once courted by National Republican Congressional Committee, passes up District 18 race.


Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner confirmed over the weekend that he’s not running for the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 seat held by nationally targeted freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

Subscribers to MyPalmBeachPost.com can read more about it by clicking here.

One immediate result of Hasner’s decision: Tallahassee-based Republican strategist Rick Wilson, a Hasner friend who worked on Hasner’s failed U.S. Senate bid in 2011 and 2012, will work on former Tequesta Councilman Calvin Turnquest‘s campaign.

Potential Hasner contributors who were on the sidelines might now give to one of the other GOP candidates in the District 18 race. The other GOP hopefuls include Turnquest, former state Rep. Carl Domino, Juno Beach Councilwoman Ellen Andel and former Connecticut legislator Alan Schlesinger. None of Murphy’s would-be Republican challengers has been an impressive fundraiser so far. Federal Election Commission reports covering the last quarter of 2014 are due Friday.

Crist talks with Obama’s political brain trust; Hasner on GOP radar; Aronberg recalls law school days with Ted Cruz

Monday, September 9th, 2013 by George Bennett

Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist says he has talked to some of President Barack Obama‘s top political advisers — David Axelrod, Jim Messina and Valerie Jarrett — as he contemplates a 2014 run for governor as a Democrat.

Subscribers to MyPalmBeachPost.com can read about it in this week’s Politics column.

Also in the column: More evidence that the national GOP remains interested in former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner as a candidate for the congressional seat of freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

The Politics column also features Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg talking about his 1990s law school days with Republican Texas Sen. and tea party phenom Ted Cruz. And a Democratic activist talks about challenging Republican County Commissioner Steven Abrams in 2014.

State Rep. Gayle Harrell decides against bid for Murphy congressional seat

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 by George Bennett

Ending months of speculation, state Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, said today she will not seek the nationally targeted Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 congressional seat of freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy.

“Thank you to those who encouraged me to run for the U.S. Congress. Your faith and belief in me is truly humbling. However, I believe Tallahassee is where I will have the biggest impact and make the most difference for you and our community,” Harrell said in a statement this afternoon. She said she’ll open a re-election campaign for her state House seat.

Three other Republicans have opened District 18 congressional campaigns — former state Rep. Carl Domino of Jupiter, Juno Beach Councilwoman Ellen Andel and former Connecticut GOP Senate nominee Alan Schlesinger. Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner has been eyeing the race as well.

Harrell, who has represented a Martin-St. Lucie district for a combined 9 years in Tallahassee, is probably better-known than those other Republicans in the Treasure Coast, which accounts for 58 percent of the voters in the congressional district.

Harrell ran for Congress in 2008, placing second to eventual U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney in a three-candidate Republican primary.

Murphy is one of only nine Democrats in the House to win election in a district that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried. Murphy edged Republican incumbent Allen West last year and is considered a top 2014 target by the national GOP.

GOP candidates raise little initial money in race for Murphy’s congressional seat

Monday, July 15th, 2013 by George Bennett

The two declared Republican candidates for freshman Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy‘s Palm Beach-Broward congressional seat have filed initial Federal Election Commission reports that are unlikely to deter other potential GOP candidates from getting into the race.

Juno Beach Vice Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Andel raised $14,455 in her first two months as a candidate while incurring $20,171 in debts and obligations.

Alan Schlesinger, the former mayor of Derby, Conn., who was the GOP Senate nominee in the Nutmeg State in 2006, did not raise a penny but plunked $25,000 of his own money into the race.

Murphy, a top GOP target for 2014, has announced that he raised more than $520,000 in the last quarter and has more than $1 million in cash on hand.

The latest FEC reports cover money raised and spent through June 30. Former Republican state Rep. Carl Domino announced this month that he’s running as well. Other potential candidates include state Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, and former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner.

Murphy tops $1 million; Frankel invokes 2012 foe for 2014 cash; West explains New Hampshire gig

Monday, July 8th, 2013 by George Bennett

Freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, now has more than $1 million in the bank for his 2014 re-election effort while the Republican field remains murky for a race the national GOP has identified as one of its top priorities.

Read the latest on the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional District 18 race in this week’s Politics column (subscriber content).

Also in the Politics column: One of the Republicans mentioned as a possible Murphy challenger is former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, who lost a 2012 congressional race to Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach. There’s been no serious talk about Hasner seeking a rematch against Frankel — but Frankel recently raised the possibility in a fundraising appeal.

Finally, in a Politics column exclusive, former U.S. Rep. Allen West offers two reasons why he’s keynoting a Republican fundraiser in New Hampshire next month.

The Politics column and other premium content is available to subscribers at MyPalmBeachPost.com

Decision time approaching for GOP’s potential Murphy challengers

Monday, April 29th, 2013 by George Bennett

Former Republican Rep. Allen West has nixed the idea of a 2014 rematch against Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, who unseated him in November.

National Republicans would love state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, to challenge Murphy next year, but Negron is opting to remain on the Senate president track.

At least eight other Republicans have shown some interest in running for Murphy’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional District 18 seat. With Murphy already building a warchest of more than $600,000, candidates are under pressure to decide soon whether to enter the race and start raising money.

Read about it in this week’s Politics column….

New Hasner ad hammers Frankel on Digital Domain, private bathroom

Thursday, November 1st, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

With just days remaining until the race is decided, Republican Adam Hasner is hammering Democrat Lois Frankel with this ad. He calls out Frankel for taking Digital Domain contributions (without referencing Digital Domain by name), and continues to criticize Frankel for the $13,000 bathroom that was built for the West Palm Beach mayor’s office under Frankel’s watch.

SuperPAC ad, featuring young girl with diabetes, bashes Hasner over embryonic stem cell research

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

The House Majority PAC, a Democratic SuperPAC, has released an anti-Adam Hasner ad slamming the Republican congressional candidate for not supporting embryonic stem cell research.

The ad features a woman saying that she will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 20 years and won’t recognize her husband or family; a young man saying he will be the victim of a car accident during a camping trip and be paralyzed for the rest of life.

Then there’s the young girl who says, “Next week my mommy and daddy and are going to find out I have diabetes.”

The future victims hold up photos of Hasner asking questions: Is he a doctor? Is he a scientist? Why did Mr. Hasner bet my life that he knows best?

“Help me,” they all say.

The ads ends with the little girl asking, “How come he gets to decide who lives and who dies? Who’s he?”

The ad does not mention Lois Frankel, Hasner’s opponent in the District 22 congressional race. The PAC made identical ads against other Republican candidates.

Democratic party releases ‘The Romney/Hasner tapes’

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

The Florida Democratic Party has released “The Romney/Hasner tapes” which compares Congressional District 22 Republican candidate Adam Hasner to GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

It puts two videos side-by-side. The first video shows Hasner speaking to a group and saying, “And when you think about the fact that you have nearly 50 percent of Americans not paying taxes, you have nearly 50 million Americans on entitlement programs, on food stamps, you realize that we’re reaching that point.”

Then, it shows Romney at the now infamous Boca Raton fundraiser earlier this year saying, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That’s an entitlement.”

The Democratic Party then asks: “Does Adam Hasner think, like Mitt Romney, that our seniors, veterans, and young adults don’t pay taxes and view themselves as victims?

Hasner is facing Democrat Lois Frankel. Polls have shown Hasner anywhere from down 10 points to tied in the race.

Take a tour of Frankel’s mayoral bathroom

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

Less than two weeks until Election Day, it’s Lois Frankel’s mayoral bathroom that’s making national headlines in the District 22 congressional race.

Mayoral shower

The Washington Post today previewed the race between Democrat Frankel and Republican Adam Hasner, highlighting Hasner’s strategy to run a TV ad with a woman on a toilet saying Frankel’s “gotta go.”

The bathroom in Frankel’s old West Palm Beach mayoral office first made headlines several years ago when the new city hall was under construction and a Palm Beach Post gossip columnist wrote that Frankel was installing a chic bathroom in her office.

So I took a tour of the bathroom on Tuesday which is now being occupied by Mayor Jeri Muoio.

Muoio, who was supported by Frankel in Muoio’s mayoral run last year, said it was the architect, and not Frankel, who decided to install the $13,000 shower and bathroom in the mayor’s office.

Hasner’s ad:

Frankel ad says Hasner wants to cut education to give tax breaks to millionaires

Sunday, October 21st, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

Democrat Lois Frankel released a new ad in the District 22 congressional this weekend saying Republican Adam Hasner wants to cut education to give tax breaks to millionaires. After positive ads in the beginning of the general election, both candidates have been attacking each other. Hasner’s most recent ad shows a woman on a toilet saying Frankel’s “gotta go.”

Recent polls have shown everything from a 10-point advantage for Frankel to a tie.

Spotlighting Frankel’s mayoral bathroom, Hasner ad features woman on toilet

Friday, October 19th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

Adam Hasner is going after Lois Frankel in a very personal way — right in the bathroom.

Earlier in the District 22 congressional campaign, when the Young Guns Super PAC was running anti-Frankel ads, Hasner was able to stay away from negative ads against Frankel.

But with the Young Guns now shifting its resource to the West-Murphy race, Hasner is spotlighting the posh bathroom in Frankel’s West Palm mayoral office, pay raises and an expensive helicopter ride.

Frankel leads Hasner by 3 points in WPTV poll

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

Lois Frankel leads Adam Hasner 47 percent to 44 percent in a poll released today by WPTV/FL Democracy 2012.

The poll of 500 likely voters has a 4 percent margin of error. This comes the same day the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll showed Frankel with a 10-point lead over Hasner.

WPTV’s poll showed that 34 percent of voters in District 22 have a favorable view of Frankel while 31 percent have an unfavorable view. Hasner had a 31 percent favorability rating with 27 percent unfavorable.

President Obama is leading Mitt Romney 51 percent to 44 percent in the Palm Beach/Broward district, which has a 9 point edge in registered Democrats.

Frankel leads women voters 54 percent to 38 percent while Hasner leads male voters 50 percent to 39 percent.

Frankel lead non-affiliated voters 47 percent to 41 percent.

Perhaps surprising is that Hasner leads Frankel 47 percent to 43 percent in Palm Beach County, while Frankel has a 50 percent to 41 percent advantage in Broward County.

While both candidates are from Palm Beach County, Frankel is from the heart of the county in West Palm Beach, while Hasner is from Boca Raton in far south county. However, 20 percent of the district is in Boca/Delray while only 5 percent is in West Palm Beach.

Frankel, Hasner lay it out in Post debate

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

Lois Frankel and Adam Hasner squared off for the first time today at The Palm Beach Post District 22 congressional debate.

Before they talked about Medicare and the housing crisis, they immediately went after each other on more touchy issues — Digital Domain and Super PACs.

“(Former Digital Domain CEO) John Textor donated $20,000 to (Frankel’s) campaign,” Hasner said. “It goes along the lines of a long culture of corruption we’ve seen in West Palm Beach for far too long. … Why did John Textor get money from the city of West Palm Beach and was it in response to the $20,000 he gave to Frankel’s campaign?”

Photo by Lannis Waters/The Post

Digital Domain was the visual effects company that recently went bankrupt after receiving money and grants from the state, West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie. Frankel was mayor of West Palm Beach when the city entered into an agreement with Digital Domain. West Palm Beach has already spent $2 million and is fighting in court to get $10 million in land back that it gave to Digital Domain. (more…)

New Democratic poll shows Frankel with 10-point lead over Hasner

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

An hour before Lois Frankel and Adam Hasner debate at The Palm Beach Post a new poll released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows Frankel with a 49 percent to 39 percent lead over Adam Hasner. The poll sampled 450 likely voters over the phone by an automated survey.

The same poll showed President Obama defeating Mitt Romney in District 22 by a 53 percent to 43 percent margin.

District 22 gives a statistical advantage to both Frankel and Obama, with Democrats having a 40 percent to 31 percent edge in registered voters over Republicans. The remaining voters in the district are not affiliated with the party.

According to the DCCC’s poll, Frankel is known known by 63 percent of District 22 and has an overall favorability rating of 37 percent, while Hasner is known by 43 percent of the district and has a 30 percent favorabilty rating.

Filing shows Hasner with more cash on hand than Frankel, contributions nearly even

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

The third quarter filings were released today with Lois Frankel and Adam Hasner raising nearly the same amount of money in their congressional race and Hasner having more cash on hand.

Frankel raised more in the third quarter, which ran from July 26-Sept. 30.

The filing shows Hasner has raised a total of $2.86 million while Frankel had raised $2.83 million. Frankel outraised Hasner in the third quarter $566,875 to $422,456.

As of Sept. 30, Hasner still had $679,583 in his war chest while Frankel had $380,919. The filings also show that Frankel has yet to donate the $20,000 in contributions that she received from Digital Domain executives. Frankel said she would donate the money after The Palm Beach Post last month asked her about the donations.

“We still firmly believe we’ve got the best message and the best candidate and we have more cash on hand heading into the last three weeks of this campaign to effectively communicate our message,” said Brad Herold, Hasner’s campaign manager.

In an e-mail statement, Frankel spokesman Joshua Karp said, “We are excited about the grassroots support our campaign has received. This is a hard fought campaign. It takes the support of a lot of people to be able to communicate your message to voters in both Palm Beach and Broward counties during the last three weeks of the election. We are excited to bring our message of middle class values to the the entire district.”

Frankel and Hasner to debate at The Palm Beach Post; got questions?

Friday, October 12th, 2012 by George Bennett

Frankel

Hasner

Democrat Lois Frankel and Republican Adam Hasner, who are vying for the Palm Beach-Broward congressional District 22 seat, will debate at The Palm Beach Post on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 10:30 a.m.

The 60-minute debate is not open to the public, but will stream live at www.palmbeachpost.com and at www.wptv.com. WPTV Channel 5 will also show a tape of the debate on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 12 noon.

Hasner and Frankel will answer questions posed by journalists from The Palm Beach Post and WPTV.

Members of the public can also submit questions for consideration. If you’d like to pose a question, send it to george_bennett@pbpost.com. For your question to be considered, include your full name and the city where you live.

Super PAC shifts resources from Hasner to West

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

Whether you enjoyed or despised the “Flush Frankel” ad, you might have seen it for the last time.

After spending more than $200,000 to reserve air time on Palm Beach County market TV stations for anti-Lois Frankel ads, the Young Guns Super PAC is shifting its focus to Republican Allen West’s opponent, Democrat Patrick Murphy. The anti-Frankel ads have run for a couple of weeks.

“The plan from the start was always to split a portion of that for Colonel West,” Brad Dayspring, spokesman for the Super PAC, said in an e-mail. “Congressman West is a 2010 Young Gun, has dedicated his life to service, and is a problem solving, straight talking leader.”

The Super PAC’s strategy would seem to contradict the StPetePolls.org poll released yesterday that shows Democrat Frankel and Republican Adam Hasner in a tight race and West with a 12-point lead over Murphy.

Frankel seeks donations after Hasner catches up in poll

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

Instead of disputing Monday’s StPetePolls.org poll that showed Lois Frankel and Adam Hasner in a dead heat at 44 percent each (with 12 percent undecided) in the District 22 congressional race, Frankel’s campaign is spreading the word about the razor-thin poll and asking supporters for donations.

Frankel

“The first 24 hours after a poll like this is released are the most critical. All eyes will be on our response,” Frankel’s campaign manager Jon Bray wrote in an e-mail to supporters. “Please contribute now to have your gift matched. For this email only, a generous donor has agreed to match all gifts made in the next 24 hours.”

With Democrats having a 9-point registration advantage over Republican in redrawn District 22, and Allen West opting to leave the district, Frankel entered the race as a large favorite. But the poll, taken largely after Wednesday’s presidential debate, shows Hasner hanging with Frankel. Hasner’s campaign reported raising $650,000 in the most recent quarter.

Despite Monday’s poll, other outlets are still convinced Frankel will win the race. The Cook Political Report and Roll Call have the race as “Likely Democrat” while Rothenberg calls it “Democrat Favored” and Sabato’s Crystal Ball says the race “Leans Democratic.”

New poll shows Hasner, Frankel in dead heat; West with 12-point lead over Murphy

Monday, October 8th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

Frankel

While Democrat Lois Frankel has a big statistical advantage in District 22 based on party registration, a new poll released today by StPetePolls.org shows Frankel in a dead heat with Republican Adam Hasner.

The poll, conducted Wednesday through Friday (much of it after the presidential debate) shows Hasner at 44.6 percent and Frankel at 44.3 percent with 11.2 percent undecided. The poll has a 4.9 percent margin of error. This comes after Hasner’s campaign reported raising $650,000 in the most recent quarter.

Seven other congressional races were polled across the state with incumbent Republican Allen West holding a 52.6 percent to 40.6 percent lead over Democrat Patrick Murphy in District 18 with 6.8 percent undecided and a margin of error of 3.3 percent. That poll included double the amount of the normal sample size “because of how close the CD18 race had been reported,” according to a spokesman for StPetePolls.org.

Hasner

All eight of the congressional polls surveyed only residents who had voted in the last four years and said they were planning to vote on Nov. 6.

The poll break down showed that while only 9.5 percent of 147 registered Republicans said they planned to vote for Frankel, 15.9 percent of the 176 Democrats polled said they would vote for Hasner. Frankel was leading Hasner 44.8 percent to 31.3 percent of 67 independent voters with 23.9 percent undecided.

The West-Murphy poll also had more Democrats supporting the Republican than Republicans supporting the Democrat. Of 350 Democrats polled, 15.1 percent said they would vote for West. Of 406 Republicans polled, 7.9 percent said they would vote for Murphy. West led Murphy 50.4 percent to 43.4 percent among 113 independent voters surveyed, with 6.2 percent undecided.

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