Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Plantation) is often talked about as a potential statewide candidate for the Democratic Party. Extremely popular among Democratic voters (but not necessarily among activists) in her district which is anchored around Plantation, Davie and Sunrise, she seems an unlikely official to be targeted by some in the local Democratic party. That’s why this weeks rumblings that some officials, activists and political consultants in and around the party (not including Chairman Mitch Caesar) are lining up political operative Travis Perron to challenge Edwards in a primary was so bizarre.
While some progressives complain about Edwards record, the potential choice of Perron whose experience consists of managing campaigns often for losing Democratic candidates seemed to be more about settling petty political scores and enriching consultants than any thing else. The climate within Broward Democratic politics often revolves around relationships and political hackery not around competence or ideology.
Perron was involved with House Democratic campaigns in 2014 and like most Democrats in Florida had a poor cycle. More recently he’s been working directly for the Broward Democratic Party which is all the more reason the rumors that began circulating last week about his potential candidacy were alarming.
Edwards record is far from perfect and some local progressives might claim she would be vulnerable to a primary challenge. Her vulnerability is certainly debatable but the idea of a potential candidate like Perron being the standard-bearer to challenge her is on the surface laughable. But my sense is Perron is probably not the guilty party himself, but is being pushed operatives who in classic Broward Democratic Party fashion would like to make money off a race and then “control” or have “access” to a state legislator should he be victorious. In the term limits era which has coincided with the collapse of the Florida Democratic Party as a meaningful and functioning statewide institution, Broward County Democrats have carved out fiefdoms dominated by political operatives and lobbyists than have access to a handful of elected officials.
We will continue to keep an eye on developments in House District 98. For now though it would appear Rep. Edwards has little to worry about from this potential candidate.