Election 2014 Winners/Losers Part I

Editors Note: From today until Sunday TFS will be unveiling our winner’s and losers of the 2014 cycle. These winners/losers include primaries and special elections.



Brought late into the sagging Broward School Bonds campaign, Walker who managed President Obama’s 2012 Florida Campaign had taken some knocks from critics earlier this year after Alex Sink’s defeat. But the bond issue passed and in little over a month, Walker reminded politicos in Broward County and across the state why she is one of the best in the business.



The FDP’s political shop has been run by Ulvert and he will bear the blame for Tuesday’s debacle. Complaints are abound regarding the recruitment of House candidates and the allocation of resources. Is it all Ulvert’s fault? Of course it is not but the political strategy for the party was haphazard all election cycle and the targeting far too random. Additionally, complaints were made about the recruitment strategy for House seats and the decisions that were made after the recruitment



Despite Marion County is one of the reddest areas in the state, they managed to pass a tax increase to benefit local school districts. Hats off to Ray Seaman, who pulled off nothing short of a miracle: from the coalition building that managed to build to the amazing army of volunteers, this shows that anything is possible with a little manpower and a lot of dedication. Even though the county was in an education crisis for the last couple years, it took a small group of activists known as Awake Marion to start the initiative process to start putting money back into public education. On Tuesday, the passing of Yes for Marion Schools was one bright spot in the state. If Ray could do this in the absolute most-conservative part of the state, I predict that many other local initiatives could make their way forward.



The political operation for the Crist campaign was shortsighted and reactionary. Despite Fernandez’s success with the Kriesman campaign, he was too green and inexperienced for this race and for Governor Crist. He failed to properly connect the campaign with Democratic elected officials, other Democratic candidates and local party leadership in many of the largest counties. In some key urban areas he made the wrong choices as to political allies and campaign support.



Perhaps the biggest bright spot of election season in the entire country for Democrats was the victory of Gwen Graham over  incumbent Republican Steve Southerland. Graham’s victory flipped a largely rural southern seat back to the Democrats for the first time since 2008. The entire staff of the campaign were winners and a new young breed of Democratic field operatives were born from this campaign.



Crist’s LG choice was a disaster. From a botched roll-out to a failure to excite or inspire both women and Hispanic voters, Taddeo proved to be way over her head on a statewide ticket. Taddeo also showed a certain degree of vanity on the stump and during the campaign, but we can save that discussion for another time.  Senator Dwight Bullard who replaced Taddeo as Miami-Dade DEC Chair inherited a party stretched by Taddeo’s ideas but without the infrastructure to implement them. Additionally, throwing symbolic candidates in every  local house race ended up spiking Republican turnout which directly benefited Rick Scott and the GOP ticket.

Part II tomorrow



  1. Ray Seaman was a firecracker getting the FDP using social media. He continues to be a valuable Democratic leader.Great project and more important to people than top of the ticket. Thank you, Ray.


  2. democrats on the ground · ·

    Ulvert simply uses the party as a repository to make $$$. He picks and backs candidates based on how much $$$ he will make off the campaign.


    1. Democrats Wishing We Were More On The Air · ·

      It is my understanding that he spent the day today (a) firing all the new talented young FDP recent hires that dared to disagree with him during the 2014 campaign cycle and (b) reaching out to interest groups he just screwed over to discuss screwing them over again in 2016. If Tant honestly thinks she is going to keep her job and keep him in his job, she is in for a big shock. Christian you’ve burned a few too many people this time. No more money to the FDP as long as you are spending it, raising it or receiving it. You cannot be a public affairs consultant for private companies that overwhelmingly support Republicans, campaign manager for Republican candidates, and campaign consultant for issue campaigns and be the political director for the Florida Democratic Party. Those are CONFLICTS. And if you have a conflict, it might make you do something dumb like spend $430,000.00 in precious resources trying to unseat an incumbent who has been pretty good to the minority party in his last term and lose by a very embarrassing 10 points while at the same time losing some very close races that weren’t supposed to be lost due to a lack of necessary resources in Orlando and Tampa.


  3. Broward Voter · ·

    Ashley probably just got lucky honestly.

    The Broward Democratic Parry endorsed a FOR BONDS stand and the palm card went out throughout the county.

    Your Coral Springs elections were even directly influenced by these cards.

    Ashley gets all the credit from you and others when she wins and none of the blame when she loses.

    Talk about someone who gets good PR…

    This site I believe deliberately avoided any mention of her after the Sink debacle, instead blaming everyone from the DCCC to the Pinellas DEC to DWS.


    1. That is a really unfair. When Ashley took over the campaign they had $10 in the bank and even traditional liberals like me thinking this was a lost cause and maybe not worthwhile anyway because of the previous mismanagement of the school board and funds. Ashley turned that around with record speed in a way I dare say no one else in the state on the D side could have. If you really think Broward DEC palm cards made the difference in any of these races, you are a lot less savvy than I thought you are, if in fact I am guessing right as to who you are.


      1. Susan McGrath · ·

        Looks like most don’t share your enthusiasm for AW.


    2. I also have to remind you in Ashley’s short period running the campaign they raised six figures after being broke. All of this is down to her. It never happens without her.


      1. From lobbyists with contract interests post bonds. Dirty money doesn’t count.


  4. Blue Dog Dem · ·

    Cesar Fernandez-

    Too arrogant
    Too much
    Too soon
    Too green
    Too young
    Too impressionable

    Our of his depth. Out of his league.


  5. How did that dolphin issue turn out for OFA Ashley???

    Really Kartik the rest of your list might be perfect. But that one is just unbelievable. She’s been the biggest loser of the last two years in the entire state. So she walks in late on the referendum that was probably going to pass and she’s put first on your winners list???



  6. Tampa Bay Demo · ·

    you guys make a big mistake putting Ashley Walker on this list considering her absolute failure the last couple years.

    But the rest of the list is spot on and I look forward to the next installment of this.


  7. What about Onar Khan?


  8. A voice of reason · ·

    Ashley Walker???

    PLEASE! Ask Alex Sink!


  9. […] is Part II of our election breakdown.  Part I can be viewed here and we will wrap up our list tomorrow with a third installment.  Stay […]


  10. InsiderMyself · ·

    Yes, what about Omar Khan? No surprise about Cesar when after the St. Pete Mayoral race he left town, and said to the media, “we didn’t even need the African American voters”. Kriseman had to denounce his comments. Funny, it happened after the first five minutes his leash was cut! Could not believe Crist hired these two! But, what did he know, about the party he just joined. Sorry Charlie.


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