Maurice Ferré, who 25 years ago was the mayor of the City of Miami, thinks he didn't get a fair shake in his long shot run for Senate in the Democratic primary. Somehow he's claiming this is "an insult to every Hispanic voter in our state." So what does he do to get back at the Democratic party? He's endorsed Republican Rick Scott for governor, a guy who built his campaign championing anti-immigration policies that some see as an insult to every Hispanic in the state.
"Despite the fact that I am a Democrat, I am deeply disturbed by the exclusionary direction of the Florida Democratic Party,'' Ferré says in a statement being brandished about by the Scott campaign. "Even though I was the first Hispanic Democrat elected to the Florida state legislature and the first Hispanic Democrat elected mayor of a major U.S. city, I was denied the opportunity to address the Florida State Democratic Convention and denied the opportunity to participate in the Democratic US Senate Debates. This 'politics of exclusion' is an insult to every Hispanic voter in our state. Too many 2010 Democratic office seekers stood by silently as these injustices were perpetrated."
Ferré, 75, spent a term in the Florida House of Representatives in the '60s and was elected mayor of Miami in 1973 and held the position until '85. He then spent some time on the Miami-Dade County Commission.
Since then his career has been one long shot and ultimately unsuccessful campaign after another. He ran for county mayor in 1996 and 2004, and sandwiched a run to reclaim his seat as city mayor in 2001.
His latest redemption run for U.S. Senate was by far his greatest long shot. He never polled above single digits and did little to raise money or establish a state-wide profile for himself.
"The sad fact is that Maurice Ferré has become not one man but two. One is a charming, persuasive, urbane, occasionally visionary believer in and evangelist for Miami's potential. For all that this Maurice Ferré has achieved as mayor, grant him due credit. The other Maurice Ferré is venal, vindictive, obsessed with remaining in office at all costs. It is this persona, alas, that seeks a seventh term," declared a 1985 editorial by The Miami Herald editorial board.
It seems to be this Ferré too that is now endorsing Scott. His claim that the Democratic party is participating in "politics of exclusion" rings hollow when the party has put the first major African-American candidate for Senate and the first major female candidate for Governor in the history of the state on the top of the ticket.
Granted the Democratic party of Florida still needs to seek out Hispanic candidate in the future, but the party rejecting Ferré is not a sign of "politics of exclusion" that is "insult to every Hispanic voter in our state." The man has already been rejected numerous times by the heavily Hispanic electorates of Miami and Miami-Dade.
The fact that he's now endorsing a man who is championing racist Arizona-Style immigration laws only underlies the fact that Ferré is not so much making a point for Hispanic voters, but rather a vindictive loser.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.