The Magazine

Is Foley's Seat Really Lost?

His name is still on the ballot, yet a Republican might still win.

Oct 16, 2006, Vol. 12, No. 05 • By DUNCAN CURRIE
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As a legislator, Negron rose to the powerful position of state budget chairman, where he demanded profuse hurricane relief for his hometown region. Negron says this would also be a priority of his in Congress. "We need to have a national hurricane disaster fund." (How that squares with his professed "fiscal conservatism" is another matter.) He has reportedly impressed many Demo crats in Tallahassee with his friendly demeanor and cooperative attitude.

Until last Tuesday, Negron was bogged down with jury duty, serving as the alternate in a local murder trial. Now his campaign is busy lobbying to have notices sent to absentee voters, and messages posted in voting booths, explaining that a vote for Foley is effectively a vote for Negron. Demo crats are resisting, and as of last Friday the legal spat had not been settled.

It may be critical. Few doubt that, under normal circumstances, Negron would dispose of Mahoney in such prime Republican territory. (Foley won his last election, in 2004, by a whopping 36 points.) But now Democrats smell blood and feel the momentum of an anti-Foley backlash. The question is whether that will translate into an anti-Republican backlash--and whether Floridians in this district will understand just who they're voting for.

Duncan Currie is a reporter at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.