Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Thanksgiving Special: What local Politicians should be thankful for this year.

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you had plenty of turkey and good times with family. It really is a blessing to call Central Florida home and to spend it with the ones we care about. Hopefully, you’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

The area’s politicians certainly have a lot to be thankful for, especially after the recent elections. Let’s break it down.

Winning State House Candidates are grateful for sharing a ballot with President Obama: Orange, Osceola, and even Seminole counties were responsible for big gains in the Florida House. State Rep-Elect Mike Clelland, Linda Stewart, Joe Saunders and Karen Castor Dentel will be heading to Tallahassee after victories in November. Even Darren Soto is now heading to the State Senate.

They were all solid candidates in their own rights, why should they be thankful?

Because, whether they won easily or in a re-count like Clelland, the difference between victory and defeat was determined by the fact that President Obama turned out his voters for re-election. Coat-tails, umbrella votes, whatever, those voters took their “Obama for America” Voting guides to the polls and voted Democrat all the way down the ballot. This wouldn’t have been the case in 2010 where turnout for Democrats was dismal.

No Obama GOTV efforts, no massive Democratic gains in Tally, it’s that simple.

Developers and Contractors should be Thanful for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer: You want to build condominiums in Downtown Orlando? Bring it on! Arenas, Performing Arts Centers, Commuter trains, if it involves developing Downtown, to bring it in the national “Big City” conversation, go ahead, build away.

Even if the majority of those condos are empty.

Still, Dyer’s vision for the future agrees with the voters. He won re-election by a landslide in April.

Osceola Republicans should be thankful for Mike Larosa: Yeah, we need you to drop everything in your life including your self-built business, young family, and life plan to run for the Florida State House.

By the way, you’ve got 3 weeks, your name isn’t going to be on the ballot, and instead of your name, we’re going to leave the name of an alleged sex criminal in place.

So, goes the story of State Representative-elect Mike Larosa who ran after Mike Horner dropped out and prevented Florida Democrats from swiping that seat with a candidate who wasn’t even on the radar before the scandal and was impossible to find by the media at times.

Larosa’s story is a great one to hear. I’ll try to get an interview in the future.

Larosa jumped in the his State House race and was able to win despite a damaged name on the ballot in his place

We should all be thankful for the national attention: 4 Presidential debates (3 GOP Primary, one general), Over two dozen visits from both tickets, millions and millions on advertising, all for your vote!

With the changing demographics, that might never be the case again. Florida is trending blue and that title of the biggest political battleground in the country is in jeopardy.

It was fun while it lasted and it was a very memorable experience.

I sincerely hope that you have much to be Thankful for, outside of the political world.

By the way, I’m thankful for all of you!

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