Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

Democrats win, lose.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. [File Photo]
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. [File Photo]
Published Dec. 10, 2017|Updated Dec. 10, 2017

Winner of the week

Philip Levine. Money matters immensely in statewide Florida campaigns, and little-known Miami Beach businessman Levine is blowing out his Democratic rivals with nearly $7 million raised to date compared to roughly $4 million by nominal front-runner Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, $2.7 million by Chris King, and $1.5 million by Andrew Gillum.

Loser of the week

Florida Democratic Party. Arcane party rules about who can qualify to become chairman of the party often block the best candidates in favor of activists who are happy to spend hours sitting through often-dysfunctional meetings of county parties. SEIU organizer Monica Russo of Miami, one of the most respected political players in Florida, had to bow out for that reason. Palm Beach County Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo won the election Saturday, but given the state of the party we're unsure whether to wish her congratulations or condolences.