I know that we're not even through the 2004 campaign yet; I'm not even sure that we'll be through with it after the polls close at 7:00 PM tomorrow. But those of you who believe in taking some time off after everything that's occured with this campaign...it won't be much of a time off!
I say that because by January 1, the discussion and recruitment will be well underway for the 2006 election, most notably who will replace Jeb!, who cannot run again due to term limits. Mark this post for referral: There will be a bloodletting in both major political parties that could make this year's primary rockin' and rollin' seem like a cakewalk.
On the Republican side, there are several people who have their sights on the Governor's office. Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher and Attorney General Charlie Crist are almost certain to toss their hat into the ring. You cannot count out Secretary of Agriculture and Consumer Services Charlie Bronson, and Senate President James E. (Jim) King, either.
Democrats don't have quite as many big names to look toward. The name most readily tossed about is state party chairman and former Tallahassee mayor Scott Maddox, but one also has to consider Congressman Peter Deutsch of Fort Lauderdale and previous gubernatorial candidate/former state senator Daryl Jones of Miami as possible candidates.
There may be others in both parties to, at least, seriously consider running for the state's highest office, but those I have mentioned will likely begin making the rounds across Florida at party fundraisers and other functions to introduce themselves (again) after the first of the year in an effort to check out their possibilities. Also, there will be a number of legislative and local seats to be decided in 2006 (two county commission seats in Polk County), and the congressional seats will be up for grabs again (URGENT...HELP WANTED: Good Democrat to challenge Bush Lapdog Adam Putnam in 12th District!).
So get some rest after tomorrow, 'cause the work begins all over again SOONER THAN YOU THINK!!!