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Good riddance to the primary election; bring on the general

It's election day, and none too soon. After today the Republicans can stop saying nasty things about other Republicans, and the same for Democrats, and we can get back to the normal state of affairs of them saying nasty things about each other.

Although today's election used to be called the "party" primary, and some people say they're not voting until the "real" election in November, don't forget that today we're also electing a whole passel of judges and School Board members. Just wanted to put in a good word for those folks.

This means that even no-party voters like me still have a reason to vote. I actually get a little kick of asking for the nonpartisan ballot, as if to say, "I don't care about all you Democrats and Republicans; I'm here to do my civic duty anyway."

So, who do you think is going to win the big races? It's not a huge stretch to guess that Kendrick Meek beats Jeff Greene in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary. Too much baggage for Greene, including that yacht.

The other headline is the Republican governor's primary, and, let's see here, let me flip a quarter … okay, for fun, let's predict rich-guy Rick Scott pulls it out over the traditional candidate, Attorney General Bill McCollum.

My thinkin' is that there is a last-minute shift toward Scott among undecided R's, that this is the Year of the Outsider after all, and that looking ahead to the general election, Scott is more of an unpredictable threat to the Democratic candidate Alex Sink. But I'm always wrong in close races, so McCollum should probably ice the champagne, or, if he prefers, the milk.

Besides these marquee elections, there's a pretty good race in both parties to be Florida's next attorney general to replace McCollum. Not only is the job important, but it tends to produce future candidates for governor.

Dan Gelber probably beats Dave Aronberg in the Democratic primary; the Republicans have a three-way race between Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, Pam Bondi and Holly Benson. Majority opinion predicts Bondi; who am I to argue?

Predictions aside, locally there are some interesting matchups. A sitting county commissioner in Hillsborough County, Jim "Buy My Wife a House" Norman, is running for the vacant state Senate District 12 seat against state Rep. Kevin "Crash" Ambler.

Two Hillsborough County Commission races to watch: District 3's controversial incumbent, Kevin White, is being challenged by former state Sen. Les Miller and Valerie Goddard in the Democratic primary. Will the Democrats forgive White's troubles? (You know, the same way Republicans might forgive Rick Scott for his company's massive Medicare fraud?)

And in the county's District 7 race, incumbent Republican Mark Sharpe faces challenger Josh Burgin. This is a preview of November's referendum on a mass-transit sales tax; if tax backer Sharpe lost, it would be devastating to that cause.

Pinellas is boring by comparison, although I have a passing interest in the Republican primary in County Commission District 4, where incumbent Susan Latvala faces the former mayor of Tarpon Springs, Beverley Billiris, and Carl Folkman.

Overall, good riddance to this primary election.

Wait, I just had a horrible thought: Unless the rich guys lose and tie up the whole thing in court …

Good riddance to the primary election; bring on the general 08/23/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 23, 2010 7:41pm]

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