Ellyn Bogdanoff highlights June Lunch
The June meeting at Bear Lakes featured Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff.
Ellyn currently represents the Palm Beach and Broward coastal district 25, that has been busted up in the new redistricting scheme. The new district 34 contains a shorter piece of coastline and some heavily Democrat inland areas (including King’s Point), and the Republican nominee will face another sitting Senator, Maria Sachs. Senate redistricting went through several iterations, and ultimately the Florida Supreme Court forced the change that turned a reasonably safe Republican district to a D+9 uphill challenge.
One of the Supreme Court Justices that is on the ballot for retention this year, Barbara Pariente, a proponent of the changes, ended up at a table with Ellyn at an event earlier in the year and the Senator had some amusing remarks about how that went.
Ellyn talked about the race and the advantages she brings over Maria Sachs, in spite of the deficit in party registration. If you remember the effective 2010 campaign she ran against Carl Domino in the primary and Kelly Skidmore in the general – both with a margin of 16% or more, she will be a formidable competitor.
The Senator then gave a short legislative update, and took a few questions. One controversial bill with which she was closely associated involved the expansion of casino gambling in the state. The bill, called it the “largest expansion of gambling in Florida History” by much of the media, was ultimately withdrawn. Ellyn cast it in a different light, expaining that it was about tourism and an expansion of the convention business in the state, by building a set of resorts in which gambling was only one factor. The Orlando area (the guy with the glove and three fingers), was not too keen on the idea of building a convention magnet in the Miami area that would compete with them, and that was the backdrop against which it was decided. Given the new Senate President is not a supporter, she did not think the bill would come up again in the next session.
Also at the meeting were candidates Tami Donnally (H86), Fran Hancock (State Committeewoman) and Cindy Tindell (State Committeewoman), and a surrogate for Pat Rooney (H85).