"A Vote for Mark Foley Is a Vote for Me"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"A Vote for Mark Foley Is a Vote for Me"

Essentially, that's the less-than-ideal soundbite that Florida State Rep. Joe Negron must convey to voters in the congressional district of Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who resigned last week after revelations about flirtatious and lurid emails.

According to the Associated Press, the state Republican Party chose Negron to "replace Foley" on the election ballot, but what that really means is that "Negron will receive votes cast for Foley, although Foley's name will remain on the ballot ..."

Negron is aware of the momentous challenge he faces, and he has managed to conjure up a much better soundbite than the one above:
"My job beginning immediately is to get word out to all these absentee voters and to everyone else in this race that you are not voting for Mark Foley. You are voting for the Republican nominee, and I'm not Mark Foley."
Of course, this is easier said than done.

Although the district tends to be Republican, it's likely that at least a few thousand voters will not be aware that a vote for Foley will end up counting for Negron. And, even for voters who are aware of this, will they have the stomach to actually mark their ballot next to the name of a man accused of sexually pursuing a 16-year-old boy?

Suddenly, the GOP is going to have to pull out all the stops in a congressional district that only a week ago was considered completely safe.

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