Lately, rumors have been swirling that the former speaker of the Florida House, Allan Bense (see photo) might wish to success Carole Jean Jordan as chair of the Republican Party of Florida. However, activists might be advised to remember his consistent refusal to enter the race for U.S. Senate.
He was repeatedly approached by top Republicans, including Gov. Bush, and urged to enter the race to challenge vulnerable Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, but finally declined.
Presumably, his thinking was that no one could defeat Congresswoman Katherine Harris in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate. However, Harris was ultimately held to under 50% by a trio of little known opponents who entered the opponent. In other words - most GOP voters voted for somebody not Harris.
The fact is, had Bense entered the race, with the support of the Gov. Bush and White House and virtually every prominent Republican in the state, he would have had the resources to compete with Harris and would likely have been the Republican nominee.
So, instead of an experienced and canny politician with deep ties to the Republican stronghold in the Panhandle, the Republican party is saddled with a lunatic leading the ticket.
Could Bense have defeated Nelson? Maybe not, but at least he could have tested him, unlike Harris, about whom voter opinions range from "dangerously paranoid" to "crazier than an outhouse rat."
If Bense does decide to make a play for the RPOF chairmanship, activists might ask why he didn't stand up for his party's interests when he had the chance.