July 24, 2005

FL Sen: Republican Establishment vs. Katherine Harris

According to Fox ‘News’ sources in Washington and Florida the GOP is trying to push Katherine Harris out of the Senate race against Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.
According to sources in Washington and Florida, the Republican establishment is not thrilled with the Republican congresswoman's recent announcement that she is strongly considering a run for U.S Senate in 2006. In fact, GOP leaders are actively courting another Florida Republican to run against Harris in next summer's primary.

"The resistance from the establishment is based on their perception, and that's based on public and private polling that she would have a very, very hard time winning," said Stu Rothenberg of the Washington D.C-based campaign tracker, the Rothenberg Political Report.
Florida state Senate President Tom Lee is one of the establishment Republicans who is discourage about a Harris candidacy.
Speaking of a Harris candidacy, state Senate President Tom Lee told the St. Petersburg Times, "I can't recall a time when the party felt so strongly that a particular candidate was going to create problems up and down the ballot."
Katherine Harris still has support within Florida from County Republicans Committee Chairman.
"I frankly happen to be very disappointed to read articles in the media that seem to indicate that the establishment isn't supporting her, I certainly don't get that sense personally," said Manatee County Republican Committee Chairman Mark Flanagan, who estimated that Harris has the support of every GOP county chair in the state.

"Politics is local and Republicans in southwest Florida in particular are proud of Katherine Harris and are very thankful that she has been there for us as citizens and as Republicans," Flanagan added.

"Most of our folks are put off by it and feel that it's not helpful for the Washington people to be putting this out there," said Sarasota County Republican Committee Chairman Bob Waechter. "Katherine enjoys tremendous support here.
Those Republicans might support Harris for Senate, but it will take more than words of support to win the Senate seat. Katherine Harris only received $13,000 worth of contributions in June.
From June 7 through June 30, Friends of Katherine Harris, Harris' campaign committee, received $13,000 worth of contributions from donors such as Ernst & Young and Marriott International.

During the same period in 2004, Harris received more than twice as much in donations. To be clear, it was an election year, but in that period in 2003, also an off-year, Harris saw more than $45,000 enter her coffers.
Kos is right GOP has no gratitude.
$13K? That's gratitude for you, GOP style. You steal an election for them, and this is how they repay her.
Hey, at least they let her run for House seat.


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