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How Negron’s aggressive absentee ballot campaign clinched Senate seat before election day

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 by George Bennett

Negron:  60 percent of his votes were absentee ballots

Negron: 60 percent of his votes were absentee ballots

Who needs election day?

Not Republican Joe Negron, who capitalized on absentee and early voting on his way to a landslide victory in Tuesday’s special state Senate election.

Before the polls even opened Tuesday morning in Senate District 28, Negron had locked up 20,273 absentee ballots and 1,682 early votes for his race against Democrat Bill Ramos.

That’s more than twice as many votes as Ramos got for the entire election, according to unofficial returns.

In other words, the 11,584 people who cast ballots for Negron at their precincts on Tuesday’s traditional election day could have stayed home and their candidate still would have won by a fat margin.

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Joe Negron scores massive win in special state Senate election

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 by George Bennett

Negron

Negron

Former Republican state Rep. Joe Negron of Stuart won a lopsided victory in a special state Senate election today to replace retiring Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, in a Treasure Coast-Palm Beach County seat.

Negron beat Democrat Bill Ramos by a 3-to-1 margin in Senate District 28, which includes all of Martin County and parts of Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.

Negron, 47, will serve the final 15 months of Pruitt’s Senate term and face reelection in 2010.

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Negron carries Martin County; other counties incomplete

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 by George Bennett

Go ahead and color Martin County Republican red for Joe Negron in the special Senate District 28 race. With 52 of 52 Martin precincts reporting, Negron got 76 percent against Democrat Bill Ramos.

Still awaiting complete results from the other four counties that have precincts in the district, but it looks like a big win Negron.

Early returns show big Negron lead in special Senate election

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 by George Bennett

Former Republican state Rep. Joe Negron of Stuart has a big lead over Democrat Bill Ramos in early and absentee ballots, early returns show.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. Tallies of early and absentee ballots from Palm Beach, Martin and Indian River counties show Negron with 11,288 votes to 3,362 for Ramos. St. Lucie and Okeechobee county totals weren’t immediately available.

The big lead is a reflection of Negron’s well-financed, well-organized campaign, which targeted absentee voters.

Negron and Ramos are vying to replace retiring state Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, in Republican-leaning Senate District 28.

Senate money blowout: Negron has 12-to-1 edge for Tuesday’s special election to replace Pruitt

Saturday, August 1st, 2009 by George Bennett

Former Republican state Rep. Joe Negron of Stuart out-raised Democratic rival Bill Ramos by more than a 12-to-1 margin in their special state Senate race, final pre-election reports show.

Through Thursday, Negron raised $499,685 and spent $418,413 for Tuesday’s District 28 election to replace retiring Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie. Negron spent $173,977 on a TV ad campaign, at least $60,890 on direct mail and $4,334 on phone calls, according to his report.

Ramos raised $40,046 and spent $28,089 through Thursday. He could not afford TV ads and spent $1,464 on campaign postcards and $3,835 on signs.

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Well-financed Negron unveils third TV spot as special Senate election nears

Thursday, July 30th, 2009 by George Bennett

As Tuesday’s special election for Senate District 28 approaches, former Republican state Rep. Joe Negron of Stuart is running his third ad of the campaign to replace retiring Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie. The spot, running only on cable TV, features Pruitt touting Negron as “a leader who will always put people first.”

Negron raised more than $400,000 for the race. Democratic rival Bill Ramos raised $31,684 through July 9 and didn’t have enough money to buy any TV ads.

In a sign that Negron sees things going well for his campaign, none of his ads mention Ramos.

MoveOn.org: We’re not involved in Negron-Ramos race, but can’t speak for members’ “personal activities”

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 by George Bennett

After Republican state Senate hopeful Joe Negron told supporters last week that liberal MoveOn.org is trying to turn out voters for Democratic foe Bill Ramos, MoveOn.org Political Action Executive Director Justin Ruben responded:

“As a federal PAC, MoveOn.org Political Action does not work on state legislative races and is not involved in the Florida District 28 special election.”

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Moveon.org has Negron on the move

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 by Dara Kam

Negron (R): "This community is hurting."GOP Senate candidate Joe Negron is ramping up efforts to secure an Aug. 4 special election win in response to Moveon.org’s entry into the race to replace retiring Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie.

Negron sent an e-mail appeal to supporters today asking for cash to fight back against the organization which he said “has sent operatives” into District 28 to help turn out the vote for his Democratic opponent Bill Ramos.

“Thanks to your hard work and support, my campaign is doing very well and I am confident that we will win the race on August 4. However, I am not taking anything for granted, particularly in a special election with an expected low turn-out. I take MoveOn.org seriously because I saw first hand how effective they were in helping President Obama win Florida in the 2008 Election,” Negron wrote.

Negron, a former House member from Stuart, is going to spend about $50,000 to collect the absentee ballots “from my supporters” and includes a letter from former Gov. Jeb Bush along with door-to-door canvassing and phone banks, according to the e-mail.

Negron’s collected nearly $387,000 so far and spent about $236,000.

Ramos, who made the ballot by collecting signatures instead of paying the qualifying fee, collected just over $24,000 and spent nearly $19,000 thus far.

Ramos

Ramos

The Jensen Beach mortgage broker today volunteered information about a 1989 guilty plea for theft when he was a young postal worker.

Ramos hopes 1989 theft plea doesn’t lead to “ugly” politics

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 by George Bennett

Saying he doesn’t want to be the victim of “ugly” politics in the final days of a special state Senate election campaign, Democrat Bill Ramos today volunteered information about a 1989 guilty plea for theft when he was a young postal worker.

Ramos

Ramos

Ramos, a Jensen Beach mortgage broker, is running against former Republican state Rep. Joe Negron of Stuart in an Aug. 4 election to replace retiring Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie.

Ramos, 50, said he’s never tried to hide his past scrape with the law.

In a biographical entry on his campaign Web site, Ramos says that “almost 25 years ago, I was accused of theft by a trusted superior. Innocent, under pressure, and unable to afford an attorney, I was forced to accept a no contest plea to having taken money from my workplace.”

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Negron, Ramos make recession-tailored pitches in special Senate race to replace Pruitt

Monday, June 29th, 2009 by George Bennett

They feel your pain.

That’s the message Republican Joe Negron and Democrat Bill Ramos are pitching to recession-battered voters as an Aug. 4 special election approaches for a Treasure Coast-Palm Beach County state Senate seat.

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Negron widens money lead in special Senate race to replace Pruitt

Saturday, June 27th, 2009 by George Bennett

Former Republican state Rep. Joe Negron raised another $134,475 over the last two weeks — that’s better than a $9,600-a-day clip — to bring his contribution total to $373,644 for the special Aug. 4 election for the District 28 state Senate seat.

Negron has spent $118,267 so far, according to reports filed Friday night.

Democrat Bill Ramos has raised a total of $25,828, which includes $5,500 from the Florida Democratic Party and $1,000 from Martin County’s Democratic Executive Committee. He has spent $11,896.

Negron and Ramos are on the ballot to replace retiring state Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, in a Treasure Coast-Palm Beach County district.

Write-in candidate Josue Larose, who according to voter records is a 28-year-old Deerfield Beach resident, reported that he put $50,000 of his own money into his campaign this week as an in-kind contribution for “paying the advertising.”

Larose apparently enjoys being a longshot. In addition to his write-in bid for the Senate seat, he has opened a 2010 campaign for governor.

Negron has 20-to-1 money edge in special Senate race

Saturday, June 13th, 2009 by George Bennett

Former Republican state Rep. Joe Negron of Stuart has better than a 20-to-1 money advantage over Democrat Bill Ramos as they head toward an Aug. 4 special election for the seat of retiring state Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie.

Reports filed Friday show Negron has raised $239,169 and Ramos $11,414.

With Pruitt facing term limits next year, both Negron and Ramos had already opened campaigns and were raising money for a 2010 Senate race. But Pruitt, citing family and economic concerns, announced May 8 that he would step down this summer instead.

Since then, Negron has hit the accelerator. He raised $174,619 in the five weeks after Pruitt’s announcement.

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Argenio-Negron III set for June 30

Monday, May 18th, 2009 by George Bennett

Gov. Charlie Crist today ordered June 30 primaries and an Aug. 4 general election to fill the Treasure Coast-Palm Beach County state Senate District 28 seat of retiring Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie.

Pruitt, with an eye on the statutory timetable for calling special elections, set his resignation for Aug. 4 so the district would not go unrepresented.

Former Republican state Reps. Art Argenio and Joe Negron, who clashed in a bitter special election primary in 1999 (won by Argenio) and another tough primary in 2000 (won by Negron) are running for Pruitt’s seat. Democrat Bill Ramos has also opened a campaign and frequent-filing Democrat Stan Smilan has expressed interest. Read more about the race here.

The period for candidates to officially qualify for the special election ballot will be from 8 a.m. on June 2 until 12 noon on June 3.

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