Meek for U.S. Senate and the fallout

Only press was invited to the announcement on the lawn of the Meek household today. Here's the full statement he gave.

Meanwhile Alex Sink says "I'll be ready to make a decision very soon."

She continues on Naked Politics:

"We've got an open U.S. Senate seat. They don't come up very often and there's going to be a lot of interest in the race on both sides," Sink said."I'm very seriously considering getting in the race, but right now, this week, I've been really focused on my job here."

Asked about U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami, who began his Senate campaign today, she said: "I'm not focused on the other candidates. I'm focused right now on really how I can best serve the country and the state," she said.

Interestingly Steve Hildebrande of Obama Campaign fame is the one who will be a key strategist for Meeks. That's a huge boost to him, Hildebrande possibly delivered Florida into the column and ran a great campaign. While not a great media or even public speaker, he's a GREAT organizer and a very polite and educated man. He knows the numbers in this state inside and out. He was the third key guy in the whole campaign below Obama and Plouffe. His former employee according to that Steve Schale who actually ran the Florida campaign though, is the one who might run Dan Gelber's campaign. Gelber is apparently waiting on Sink's announcement to see if he jumps in the race or not.


One other interesting group of information is who is lined up to run for the District 17 House seat. It may well be the most open seat in America, that only one party can win. It's as safely Democratic as humanly possible.

Naked Politics (kudos to them for really being on the ball) lines up their listing:

Former state Rep. Phillip Brutus of Miami is holding a press release tomorrow in North Miami Beach to launch his bid for Meek's seat.

"My six years in a Republican-dominated Legislature have enabled me to sharpen my legislative skills, as Democrats could not get any bills passed without working across the aisle,'' he said in a press release. "After two years of reflection and introspection, I am ready for the challenge and will work hard to represent all citizens of Congressional District 17, with honor, prestige and dignity.''

Other potential contenders for Congress are state Sen. Frederica Wilson, State Rep. Ronald Brise and MIami Gardens Commissioner Andre Williams.

"I've always wanted to go to Congress,'' said Wilson, who succeeded Meek in the House and the Senate. She has to leave Tallahassee in 2012 due to term limits. "I've gotten calls from Washington people who are ecstatic."

I think Brutus who has had several defeats and victories is pretty much stuck where he is. Frederica Wilson is a powerhouse name in her community and I'd say is the early favorite. Ronald Brise is a highly educated young man who is in the Florida House and really has a presence in front of a crowd. The kid is very intelligent, effective and is garnering a lot of praise in his district and in Tallahassee. I like him a lot. Andre Williams has been an ok commissioner but doesn't have the name recognition or machine behind him yet. Former teacher James Bush III who was in the House of Representatives for 8 years and came back to the Florida House this year has machinery and experience behind him. He could nullify a lot of Wilson's support. However, having just wrapped up one campaign, is he looking forward to jumping into another one?

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