Sunday, January 8, 2017

Now that it’s election season again: Is an endorsement from the Post a boost? Doesn’t matter? And why didn’t they endorse Hillary for President?

Please Note: The blog post below is originally from last year following the November elections and re-posted last January. The Palm Beach Post will begin rolling out their endorsements soon enough. But the looming question is: How necessary is an endorsement from the Post? 

It will be election season again in cities like Lake Worth. Candidates all over north and central Palm Beach County need to ask themselves some questions: “Is trying to get the Post endorsement worth the effort or just a waste of time?” and “Is my time better spent knocking on doors and talking with voters?” And others such as Omari Hardy need to wonder: “Should I bother? The Post is going to endorse McVoy anyway. So what’s the point?”

To help in making your decision about trying to get that endorsement, below is the scorecard for the Post editorial board following the elections last November 8th. If you’re short on time please scroll down to see the results, especially the County races.

Endorsements such as those from elected’s and community leaders are very important:

If you recall, State Senator Jeff Clemens racked up endorsements before he had a challenger. Clemens easily defeated Irv Slosberg. The voters said, “Don't Let Irv Serve” in Palm Beach County.

If you pay attention to articles published, ‘read between the lines’ if you will, can predict accurately who they plan to endorse anyway. So. . . did the Post editorial board endorse the winner in the Port of Palm Beach Board, Group 3 race? Tom Sutterfield in School Board District 1 was endorsed in the primary and then ingloriously un-endorsed in the general election. Who won that race? How about the County Commissioner District 1 race?

Dana Marie Santino for County Court Judge, Group 11 was treated pretty roughly by the Post. Did she win or lose? Continue reading and you’ll find that out.

In an odd twist the editor didn’t endorse Hillary Clinton in heavily Democrat-leaning Palm Beach County. And they didn’t endorse Donald Trump either. However, they did run full-page ads to “VOTE TRUMP!”, the last one on Sunday, November 6th, just two days prior to the election.

Interestingly, the Post had no endorsement for the top of the ballot on Nov. 8th and no endorsement for the bottom of the ballot here in the City of Lake Worth either.

In another interesting twist the editors did not make an endorsement in Lake Worth’s bond referendum to fix our roads and potholes either. But afterwards had nothing but glowing words for the City and the referendum that passed overwhelmingly. So did having no endorsement from the Post help? Would an endorsement to “Vote Yes” actually have scuttled the bond vote once again?

Without further ado, the Post’s scorecard:

*  =  “No brainer”, the result was never in doubt.
Highlight  =  Post endorsement DID NOT win; winner shown in brackets.

U.S. Senator: Patrick Murphy (D) [Marco Rubio (R) won]
U.S. Congress, District 18, Randy Perkins (D) [Brian Mast (R) won]
*U.S. Congress, District 20, Alcee Hastings (D)

State races:
*Representative, House District 21, Lois Frankel (D)
*Representative, House District 22, Ted Deutch (D)
*Florida Senate, District 25, Joe Negron (R)
*Florida Senate, District 30, Bobby Powell, Jr. (D)
*Florida Senate, District 31, Jeff Clemens (D), no challenger
Florida House, District 82, Mary W. Higgins (D) [Mary Lynn Magar (R) won]
Florida House, District 85, Rick Roth (R)
Florida House, District 86, Matt Willhite (D)
*Florida House, District 90, Lori Berman (D)
*Florida House, District 91, Emily Slosberg (D), no challenger

Supreme Court, 4th District Circuit Court of Appeals and 4th District Court of Appeals (Post endorsed to “retain all” and all were elected).

County races:
Palm Beach County Circuit Court, Group 4:
Gregory Tendrich [Luis Delgado (NPA) won]

Palm Beach County Court Judge, Group 11:
Gregg Lerman [Dana Marie Santino (NPA) won]

Palm Beach County Commission, District 1:
Tony Bennett (D) [Hal R. Valache (R) won]

Meet your new County Commissioners. Dave Kerner (on right) standing next to Hal Valache. Commissioner Mack Bernard is on the left.

*Palm Beach County Commission, District 3:
Dave Kerner

*Palm Beach County Commission, District 5:
Mary Lou Berger

Palm Beach County School Board, District 1:
Barbara McQuinn

Port of Palm Beach Board, Group 3:
Sonny Maken (NPA) [Jean L. Enright (D) won]

The result:
“No brainers”  =  10.
Post endorsements that DID NOT win election  =  7.

So what does this all mean? Draw your own conclusions. But if you think an endorsement from the Post is a big step on your way to elected office you may want to reconsider. Tom Sutterfield, the losing candidate in the November 8th School Board District 1 race, would have a thing or two to say about that:

Tom Sutterfield was endorsed by the Post in 2014. He lost to Erica Whitfield. Did that endorsement for Sutterfield help or hurt? Something to think about.