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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Boyd, McCollum Out? Klein, Iorio In? Me With Egg On His Face?

Rep. Allen Boyd will not be running for the U.S. Senate. Nor will Attorney General Bill McCollum.

Boy, was I wrong. The only thing I was more sure about than Boyd running was that Bill McCollum was desperate to be a U.S. Senator.

I don’t know why Boyd is passing, but it is pretty clear now why he was so noncommittal when I accosted him at Florida’s inaugural ball.

I will attempt to cling to some of my shredded pride and say that McCollum may be looking ahead to 2012 when Sen. Bill Nelson will be 72 and possibly thinking about retirement (though if he decided to run for re-election, sorry McCollum, but Nelson’s got your number and you’re not taking him down).

On the Democratic side, this leaves a lot more room for possible candidates Ron Klein and Pam Iorio.

Klein is a monster fundraiser and will be able to tap into South Florida donors better than either Meeks or Gelber (or at least that’s my suspicion – Meeks has never been a particularly strong fundraiser and Gelber hasn’t been tested at this level). He is still competing with two other South Florida for the same rich lodes of voters – which is why I thought that Boyd’s roots outside of South Florida might give him a leg up, which brings me to Iorio…

Our own Mayor Iorio represents the largest single media market in the state (South Florida is actually two media markets) and sits smack dab on that all important I-4 corridor. She would be the only woman in the race and the only major Democrat with a base outside of South Florida (ask Alex Sink how that profile worked out for her). Her ability to raise money is still untested, but Mayor of Tampa is not a bad perch to start out from – especially if she can enlist Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor and her mother’s rolodex in the effort.

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