Broward Squeeze: Party officials meddling in House District 98 primary?

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.

9 comments

  1. Jason · · Reply

    She is probably doing the campaign to raise her own profile.

  2. I live in Representative Edwards District and am proud of the way she serves her constituents. I am not a politician, but I would assume she represents the entire District. If someone calls her with a problem I would hope that she doesn’t ask if they are a Republican, Democrat or Independant, but tries to resolve the problem. Personally, I wish she would run for the U.S. Senate. These local Democrats should come forward and not remain anonymous! And yes, I am a liberal Democrat!

  3. It’s Cynthia Busch, our wonderful vice chair of the party, sticking her nose in a Democratic primary. She is so good at making people vote Democrat she can’t even get her own husband to become one.

    Don’t worry about Katie Edwards. She will be just fine.

  4. The Observer · · Reply

    Sounds like something right out of the Palm Beach County play book. Except that in PBC the DEC is so weak, it’s local elected officials who do the taking out. Of course they usually shoot themselves in the foot doing it.

  5. Charles · · Reply

    I know this is a blog, and so the same journalistic integrity that applies to other online publications do not apply…. but this article reads like all rumor and hearsay. Kartik, did you at least call this Travis Perron guy to confirm whether this is true? (probably not…)

    Some people still read this blog (like myself) and hope it provides insider insight into politics, but don’t let it become a gossip column. Call the guy. Post whether he refused to return a call or comment.

  6. This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. I’d love to know the source of this. I would think the party would be more interested in beating Republicans than loyal, effective and hard working Democrats.

  7. guest · · Reply

    Katie Edwards needs to better represent her constituents on issues related to clean water and the environment. She has a clear conflict as a lawyer that represents Florida Farmers who are opposed to clean water standards that South Florida depends on.
    She may be an NRA queen representing Plantation, FL but her website states:
    Ms. Edwards proudly serves South Florida’s agricultural community.
    To better serve clients in Glades, Okeechobee, Martin and Hendry counties,
    Ms. Edwards has an office located at 500 NW 6 Street, Okeechobee, FL 34972.
    Who does Ms. Edwards serve when she is in the Legislature, her constituents or her conscience?

    1. Ask her constituents. They voted her in and continue to support her. Anonymous snipers like you wouldn’t have the guts to talk to her one on one. Would you?

  8. […] May 2015 The Florida Squeeze article may offer more clues behind the firing of Howson. Kartik Krishnaiyer reported some Broward DEC […]

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