Is Maurice Ferre About to Mount a Senate Campaign?

Categories: Politicks
ferre.jpg
Jonathan Postal
A couple of Democrats have flirted with the idea, but so far no one has stepped up to mount a real challenge against Kendrick Meek in the Senate primary. Now, though, there's buzz that former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre will enter the race next week.

Beth Reinhard says Ferre will make an announcement "the modern way" next Wednesday, and dug up a Twitter account (apparently now the first step in setting up a campaign). Funny thing: His avatar is a photo by former New Times photog Jonathan Postal that accompanied a scathing article about Ferre titled "Ego Without End," about his never-ending quest for elected office and a habit of supporting a certain type of terrorist that some consider freedom fighters. 

Ferre was the first Hispanic mayor of Miami from 1973 to 1985 and then served on the county commission. He ran for county mayor in '96 and lost, then made another run at the city mayorship in 2001, lost to current Mayor Manny Diaz, and made another unsuccessful stab at the county office in '04. 

Never one to let defeat deter him, Ferre has been making waves lately: first writing a scathing Herald opinion piece slamming Charlie Crist for appointing George LeMieux to Senate, and then telling Puerto Ricans in Central Florida that he's seriously considering a run

Meek already has a decent amount of money in the bank and has locked down serious Democratic support (enlisting no less than Bill Clinton for fundraising duty), so Ferre would have to run a convincing campaign to beat him. 

If he does that, I could imagine him being relatively competitive with Charlie Crist in the general election. He'd have to make a strong case to Democratic voters, especially those who find Crist likable, lock down voters here in South Florida (is that possible when we've rejected him so many times for local office?), and then make inroads among the independent voters in the I-4 corridor in Central Florida. Luckily for Ferre, many of those swing voters happen to be his fellow Puerto Ricans. 

One of the more boring of many potential problems: Ferre is 74 -- considerably older than even Sen. Bill Nelson -- and he'd be well into his 80s if he were successful and mounted a bid for a second term.

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