The Stage Is Set: Katherine Harris, Will You Please Run for U.S. Senate?

Man, I turn my head for one day (to work on some print edition goodies) and all hell breaks loose in that 2010 Senate race. Democratic Rep. Allen Boyd is out. Democratic State Sen. Dan Gelber is in. Attorney General Bill McCollum is out. It's such a free-for-all that even Tampa's Democratic mayor is thinking about a bid.

I hate to analyze this until the dust settles, but I just can't resist. After the jump, let's talk about who wins and who loses after the Hump Day Wildness.

  • South Florida: With Sink and Boyd both out of the race, it's looking more and more like the Democratic nominee will come from 'round these parts, whether that's Meek, Gelber, U.S. Rep. Klein, or Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter.
  • Ha! I'll admit I added that last name just so I had an excuse to give a link to Ritter's most recent public comments, It's hard to take Ritter seriously these days.
  • Kendrick Meek: It was going to be tough for him to overcome the advantages Boyd would have had in North Florida. Then again...
  • Gelber: Think about it. He's largely an unknown quantity outside South Florida. But so is Meek. Both have the same chance to make a good first impression with Dems across the state. This matchup is lining up nicely for Gelber.
  • Dr. Marion Thorpe - Oh, does he seem kinda "fringy" to be the nominee for a major party in a U.S. Senate race? Not as fringy as the last Republican the state nominated. See below.
  • Katherine Harris: Please excuse the inclusion of a sentimental favorite from a guy who needs the kind of blog fodder that only a train wreck like Harris can provide.
  • Marco Rubio & Connie Mack, IV: Can't believe I'm saying this, but..."Florida Republicans: Here are your frontrunners!"
  • Florida Republicans: Let's recap. The incumbent Mel Martinez jumped ship, which seemed like the prelude to a run by the mighty Jeb Bush, until he said, "No thanks." Charlie Crist seems uninterested. McCollum is out, too. What are we on, Plan E? This is like the basketball huddle when the coach asks which player wants to take the final shot, and they all look away. That's when you know they're licked.
  • Blue Dogs: After surging in 2006, the socially conservative congressional Democrats have been slipping on Capitol Hill. Florida seemed to be one state where their club could field a U.S. Senate candidate. But since Boyd's among the most high-profile in that group, it looks like they're sitting this one out.

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Thomas Francis