The Campaign Spot

In Florida’s 19th Congressional District, Voting Begins

My reader in West Palm Beach tells about his voting experience in today’s special House election:

Well, the day dawned with fluffy clouds and sunshine, at least in my part of the district.  There’s a 20 percent of scattered showers throughout the day and no thunderstorms on the horizon.  So much for the weatherman. 

 

The good news is that I was the only voter in my precinct when I strolled in around 7:20.  There were six precint workers, no campaign volunteers in evidence and the only sign outside the cordone sanitaire was for Lynch.  Apparently I was the second or third voter, and all of us had last names that began in the A-E range, because the other workers were teasing the woman who checked me in about getting all the action.  I was literally in and out in under two minute, and would have taken less time than that if I hadn’t exchanged pleasantries with most of the people there.  Like I said, I believe that light turnout hurts Democrat Ted Deutch.  Whether it helps Republican Ed Lynch enough to win – or helps “No Party” conservative Jim McCormick syphon off enough votes to stick us with Deutch after all – depends on how fired up each man’s supporters are. 

 

I’ve had a bunch of family things going on, so haven’t had the time to volunteer for Lynch or do much else beyond contributing what I could spare via his website.  Last night I did send an e-mail to all the right-leaning friends and family I have who live in the district reminding them about the election and listing their polling place (in case there were changes) and the hours the polls are open, and I called a couple who don’t use e-mail.  This morning I stopped by the office of one of them, a small business owner whose computers I look after, to pick up an old hard drive he needs scrubbed.  I left my “I voted” sticker affixed to the screen of his monitor as one  last reminder.

 

Now, we wait. 

I’d note that sometimes, in a special election, you catch all the breaks; for the final few weeks of the Massachusetts special election, Scott Brown seemed to do everything right and Martha Coakley seemed to do everything wrong. That hasn’t been the case in this race for Republican Ed Lynch.

For starters, the Palm Beach Post put the spotlight on his personal finances three days ago:

Republican congressional hopeful Ed Lynch is facing a foreclosure lawsuit but says he’s attempting to work out a loan modification to stay in his house.

Lynch, who’s running in Tuesday’s special election to replace Robert Wexler, has missed mortgage payments since last June and owes $647,974 in principal, interest and other advances, according to a suit filed March 30.

“We’re just like anyone else. We’re not on a pedestal. We’re not holier-than-thou. We’re not different from anybody else except that we trusted the federal government,” said Lynch, who says his contracting business is owed at least $2.8 million for work on a veterans hospital in Miami.

“Money gets tight when our biggest customer doesn’t pay us,” Lynch said.

The Democrat has a huge financial advantage:

The special election is Tuesday, and Democratic congressional candidate Ted Deutch holds a commanding advantage in campaign contributions, taking in more than $1.5 million since launching his campaign last fall.

Republican Ed Lynch, a contractor and consultant who lives west of West Palm Beach, has raised $81,000.

A third candidate, computer consultant Jim McCormick who lives west of Boca Raton, raised $4,816.

The limited funding has resulted in campaign advertising that is a bit rough-hewn by the usual standards:

And again, this is a district where Obama and Kerry both took 66 percent, and the previous Democrat incumbent, Robert Wexler, was unopposed in 2006, 2004, and 1998.

Having said all that, Ed Lynch will probably never have a better shot of winning this seat than today.

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