Another week has passed and I believe it is time to highlight another potentially vulnerable Republican in 2014 in our efforts to better organize ourselves for the 2014 midterms. In case this is the first post you have seen regarding our series, here are the previous installments:
All of the above candidates are different in their own way from controversial (Bachmann) to longtime veterans (Miller) to newly elected incumbents (Davis) but all have the ability to swing a district or two to us.
Just so we all know, I include the links to various prospective candidates Facebook and Twitter accounts so you better familiarize yourself with who these potential Representatives are. I also include links to donating to local Democratic groups (statewide and soon countywide) as opposed to national Democratic committees. I believe that the best way to ensure money gets spread is by donating to your state group.
But enough with the generic lead-in because our seventh installment of our Taking Back The House series takes us to the Sunshine State where a second-term incumbent could face a tough battle in 2014.
Let us meet, Steve Southerland of Florida’s 2nd congressional district.
Southerland, elected in the Republican wave of the 2010 midterms, has been in Florida politics for a while even though he first ran for office in 2010. Previously Southerland was the Chairman of the Florida Board of Funeral Directors and also Chairman of the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida. Southerland’s “fun fact” is the fact that he is also a mortician who is President of Southerland Family Funeral Homes as well as being in the timber and granite industries.
But while Southerland has had two relatively tough elections, he continues to be a member of the Republican Majority but one that can be turned blue.
Let’s get to know Congressman Southerland a bit better.
Legislation & Notable Votes:
- Voted against “Fiscal Cliff”
- Based on votes, you can consider him anti-marriage equality, pro-life, pro-gun, pro-corporations and anti-environment.
- Co-sponsored bill to make “balancing the federal budget” part of the Constitution
- Invoked the shooting of Gabby Giffords to make the case that his salary of $174,000 per year as a representative was “not enough”. Also used this quote describing his job: “If you think this job pays too much, with those kinds of risks and cutting me off from my family business, I’ll just tell you: This job don’t mean that much to me. I had a good life in Panama City.”
- Ranked 34th most conservative member of the House.
- 2010: Southerland (R): 53.6%, Rep. Allen Boyd (D): 41.4%, Independents: 5%
- 2012: Southerland (R): 52.7%, Al Lawson (D): 47.2%
Well Alfred Lawson, the 2012 nominee, is apparently considering a run but the Democrats might have already had their big recruit in Gwen Graham, daughter of former Governor and Senator Bob.
Graham is an ideal candidate for Democrats as she is likely able to be able to fundraise off the popularity of her family name and her personal accomplishments. She already will have some name recognition and could really draw more voters to the booth than Lawson who did run a decent campaign.
The hope is that Graham has a primary to herself so she can focus on the general but I can’t imagine Lawson posing that much of a threat. Still worth monitoring.
Why We Can Win This:
Well the PVI may not be the most enticing but make no mistake about it, this is a district that can be turned blue. In fact, with the addition of Graham, I feel more confident about this district than all but Miller’s and Coffman’s in terms of turning the seat blue.
Democrats have a 21 percent registration edge over Republicans in the district but before you start anointing this as a “safe blue” seat remember many of the area’s Democrats are more conservative.
Links You Oughta Check Out:
*Please do like or follow these pages as Graham only has a few hundred followers on both and she would be a great addition to the House.