To say that I am disappointed by the results of the November 2 elections is an understatement. Both here in Pinellas County and at the state and national levels, I am saddened to see many outstanding candidates go down to defeat at the hands of Repuglicans who lack the qualifications, temperament and policy commitments to serve effectively in public office.
Of course, we should note that there are some bright spots in a rather bleak landscape, even here in Florida. In our own neighborhoods where we worked hardest, Democratic turnout was up significantly over the levels in the last mid-term elections in 2006. In precinct 345 (Ridgecrest), where we made the biggest effort of all, turnout rose from 28% in 2006 to 39% this year. In the three Greenwood precincts (500, 501, 526) where we made our next greatest efforts, turnout rose between 3% and 7% over 2006. All four of these precincts voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic candidates. Alex Sink carried Pinellas County by 17,000 votes, and Rick Kriseman won a triumphant re-election to the Florida House. In New York and California, Democrats won particularly impressive victories in both gubernatorial and senatorial elections; and Democrats retained a majority in the U.S. Senate.
Nevertheless, we and Democrats at all levels right up to the White House need to assess carefully what needs to be done to achieve positive results in future elections. We’ll begin this process with our discussion of 2010 and future elections at our November 15 meeting at 7 p.m. at the Thirsty Marlin, 351 West Bay Drive, Largo. Please bring your ideas and the spirit that proclaims again: “Yes, we can!”