Gelber and Aronberg look forward to primary listen06/15/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Excited by Barack Obamaâ€™s victory in the Sunshine State in last yearâ€™s presidential election, Florida Democrats hope to win some of the Cabinet positions currently held by Republicans.
Kendrick Meek and Alex Sink are by far the frontrunners in their races for senator and governor, respectively. The Democrats will have a contested race for Attorney General, as two South Florida senators, Dan Gelber and Dave Aronberg, have announced their candidacies.
Both were at the Hilton Hotel in St. Petersburg Saturday night for the Pinellas County Democratic Partyâ€™s Kennedy King Dinner, and WMNF spoke with them both.
Aronberg says heâ€™s looking forward to the primary.
Dan Gelber says he didnâ€™t drop out of the Senate race because of Congressman Kendrick Meekâ€™s prodigious fundraising totals or big union endorsements. He says it all changed for him when Gov. Charlie Crist decided to run for Senate.
Despite their political differences, Gelber and Aronberg are liked and respected by statewide Democrats. Aronberg voted for Senate Bill 360, the controversial growth management legislation that has infuriated environmentalists around the state.
Gelber voted against SB 360, sponsored by Bradenton Republican Mike Bennett. WMNF asked him why he thought Gov. Crist â€“ despite pressure from environmentalists and newspaper editorial boards â€“ ultimately signed the bill.
A third Democrat with strong recognition throughout the state, former Sen. Rod Smith, says he is also considering a run for Attorney General, and will decide whether or not heâ€™ll run later this year.