Joe Henderson: Scott Franklin’s win in CD 15 was no surprise

Scott Franklin
Republicans clinched this seat when Franklin beat incumbent GOP Ross Spano in the primary.

Republicans probably clinched Florida’s 15th Congressional District when incumbent Ross Spano lost the Republican primary to Scott Franklin.

It would have been an uphill climb for Democrats in this reliably red district no matter who was on the other side of the ballot. When voters removed ethically challenged Spano and his campaign finance issues though, we were left with another predictable result.

That’s how it played out Tuesday when Franklin defeated Democrat Alan Cohn to keep the seat red. The result wasn’t for a lack of trying by Democrats. They poured money, effort, and crossed fingers into winning a district Republicans have dominated.

Alas, for them, it was never going to happen.

Republicans recruited Franklin, a Lakeland City Commissioner, to run against Spano. They knew Spano’s allegations of campaign finance violations left Republicans vulnerable in a district where they normally wouldn’t break a sweat.

CD 15 covers parts of Hillsborough, Polk and Lake counties.

Cohn, a former TV investigative reporter, was probably doomed from the moment Polk and Lake voters went, “Wait, a fake news TV reporter? Sheesh!”

That’s assuming they went that deep into the analysis before filling in Franklin’s bubble on the ballot.

If Republicans in a conservative district looked to recruit the ideal candidate, Franklin was their guy.

He was a Naval aviator who flew combat missions. His resume practically shouted VOTE FOR ME!

Franklin is a reliable conservative who drew endorsements from Polk Sheriff Grady Judd and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz – and that was in the primary against a sitting GOP Congressman.

Franklin’s ads cast the image of a hale-fellow-well-met, right stuff kind of guy.

Cohn’s well-funded ads never broke through.

I’d never denigrate Cohn’s investigative work. But he stressed his experience as an investigative reporter in a district where a lot of people HATE THE MEDIA!!

Earth to Democrats: Think this through. What part of the disconnect with people who actually vote are you missing?

Democrats keep thinking they can flip this district.

Voters keep correcting them.

I’d imagine that once Franklin gets to Washington, he can stay there as long as he wants. It’s just how the people in CD 15 roll.

Dennis Ross, who previously represented that district before he walked away, could have stayed there for many years if he wished. Democrats always delude themselves into believing they can flip it blue.

Then, however, they count the votes.

Same as it ever was.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


2 comments

  • Ron Ogden

    November 4, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Henderson keeps thinking he can convince readers he is a professional with a balanced outlook and no axes to grind. Then we read quotes like,
    “I’d never denigrate Cohn’s investigative work. But he stressed his experience as an investigative reporter in a district where a lot of people HATE THE MEDIA!!” Same as it ever was.

  • Ron Ogden

    November 4, 2020 at 8:52 am

    Henderson keeps thinking he can convince readers he is a professional with a balanced outlook and no axes to grind. Then we read quotes like,
    “I’d never denigrate Cohn’s investigative work. But he stressed his experience as an investigative reporter in a district where a lot of people HATE THE MEDIA!!” Henderson is as bitter as ever.

Comments are closed.


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