Davis picks Daryl Jones as his running mate by Mitch E. Perry09/14/06
This morning, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis selected former Miami State Senator Daryl Jones to join his ticket as Floridaâ€™s first black lieutenant governor nominee. (roll tape#1 o.q.â€?applauseâ€?)
The 51 year old Jones is a U.S. Air Force Reserves Colonel, as well as a lawyer and real-estate investor. 4 years ago, he finished 3rd in the Democratic Primary race for Governor, Garnering 12% of the vote, despite being massively outspent by winner Bill McBride and runner-up Janet Reno.
Jones said today that a lot of Floridians have been hurting for the past 8 years since Jeb Bush became governor (roll tape#2 o.q.â€?applauseâ€?)
In 1998, Jones was about to become the first African American Secretary of the Air Force, but his nomination did not get out of committee amid controversy over his flying skills, and whether he faced a criminal probe for lobbying in a airport bond deal.
But that never became much of an issue when he ran for Governor 4 years later.
Susan McManus is a professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida. She said Jim Davis did well in selecting Daryl Jones (roll tape#1 o.q.â€?if electedâ€?)
Former Tampa City Councilman and now Bay News 9 political analyst Bob Buckhorn calls the selection of Daryl Jones â€˜excitingâ€™ (roll tape#2 o.q.â€? in the legislatureâ€?)
That 1990 vote â€“ where he denied financial compensation to 2 black men who were falsely imprisoned, has been much noted in the last month. Davis apologized to Freddie Pitts and Wilbur Lee earlier this week. That, along with the selection of an African-American running mate, should boost his status among Black voters.
But Bob Buckhorn says itâ€™s undeniable that Davis mishandled the situation during his campaign against Rod Smith (roll tape#3 o.q.â€?broaden their appealâ€?)
But in addition to broadening their appeal, the Democrats MUST make sure to get as many Black voters to the Polls this November â€“ something that did not happen 4 years ago, when Bill McBride was blown out by Jeb Bush in his re-election bid. USF political science professor Susan McManus says the Democrats need to learn from that mistake in â€™06 â€“ and thinks that Jones selection will help Davis gather votes in the North Florida region (roll tape#4 o.q.â€?state wide races anymoreâ€?)
The Black vote for Democrats was strong in 2000â€¦.That was when anger â€“ stemming from opposition to Jeb Bushâ€™s One Florida initiative that eliminated affirmative action in Floridaâ€™s university system was still very much an issue.
But Democrats did not get the black out in those same numbers in 2002, or 2004.
Bay News 9 analyst Bob Buckhorn agrees that the Democrats MUST do a better job of cultivating that vote if Jim Davis is to have success this November (roll tape#5 o.q.â€?Pitts and Lee voteâ€?)
When asked his opinion of Jim Davis initial vote denying compensation for Pitts and Lee today, Daryl Jones said that Davis has a 100 percent rating with the NAACP, versus one vote. He said,â€?I can forgive just one misstepâ€?