The Perfect Resumé for a Florida Senate Seat
Political math god Nate Silver put together a handy pie chart showing that the career stop for a majority of current U.S. senators is a U.S. House seat. Good news for Kendrick Meek, Connie Mack IV, and the handful of other representatives who might be angling for the seat, but don't expect to see a Meek vs. Mack matchup anytime soon.
The sweet spot to win one of Florida's Senate seats is to have last served in a statewide elected office and to have had some sort of legislative experience (either state or federal) before that. Four of the last ten fit that description, including some of the most successful and popular, such as Bob Graham and Bill Nelson. The three who either didn't come straight out of Congress or a statewide office all benefited from unusual circumstances. Martinez was handpicked by President Bush after serving as secretary of HUD and road a wave of terrorism-related fear-mongering to his seat. In 1980, Paula Hawkins road in on Reagan's coattails, but was defeated by Graham six years later. Lawton Chiles, of course, came directly out of the state Senate and engaged in a famed walking tour during which he literally walked across Florida.
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