Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Republicans clearly are mad at President Obama and Democrats in Congress. But, are they mad at their own party too? That, says Matt Towery, is the question that a Florida State Senate race later this month will help to answer:
Let me set the stage. No Democrats are in the race, so the winner of the Sept. 15 Republican primary will become senator. Among the major GOP candidates running is a longtime party establishment leader, former state speaker of the House John Thrasher. He enjoys the support of many elected officials, as well as that of former Gov. Jeb Bush. Thrasher was a tight ally of Bush, and of Bush's family and the Bush political network.
The other major player in the race is businessman Dan Quiggle. He's a political upstart who has virtually no ties to the Republican heavyweights. Quiggle's chief qualification is that he once worked for Ronald Reagan once Reagan had left the White House. Quiggle is running on a conservative activist platform that seems to have propelled him into a dogfight with Thrasher. Quiggle is a new face, and he heads up the Florida chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a national group devoted to fighting taxes and big government.
Clearly something is going on in Florida. This is a tug-of-war that will be repeated in Republican primaries now through the 2012 presidential race.
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