Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) has had a chokehold on Florida’s Fifth Congressional District—formerly District 3—since 1993. Courtesy of a well-oiled Democrat political machine and smartly targeted earmarks, Brown has often been perceived as owning the district.
Glo Smith hopes to change that. With two decades of experience in the social and public service sectors and a small business background, there’s no question Smith’s credentials will challenge those of Brown. Smith has another asset, a background in children’s services, that will serve the demographic makeup of her district very well.
Smith’s ability to articulate her beliefs in a positive manner will also challenge Brown—reflect on Brown’s error in calling an American of Mexican ancestry and other Republicans racists and “white men” in a diatribe during the Haiti crisis. When assistant secretary of state Roger Noriega said he resented being called a white racist, Brown retorted, “You all look alike to me.”
More than 86,000 Hispanic or Latino residents now live in Brown’s district.
Smith has entered the race in hopes of winning the Republican primary to represent a district with a population comprising 23 percent below the federal poverty level. Within the district, 39.3 percent of the families are headed by a single female; only 10.6 percent of the district comprises married couples (U.S. Census). In a population of 710,781, the number of children younger than 5 years and no older than 14 years is estimated at 152,270. That population would benefit from a representative with Smith’s background.
Most of the residents have health insurance; the district has an unemployment rate topping 16 percent.
On the stump, Smith has few equals. A gift for oratory, an outgoing personality, and a down-to-earth approach to politics will be assets as she makes her case to voters. After remarks before a packed room at the Republican Women of Duval County November meeting, Smith drew a very enthusiastic response.
As for opposition research, Brown’s gaffes and missteps are part and parcel of the public record. Questions about the use of campaign funds, earmarking money for an organization her daughter lobbies for, off the charts remarks like the “You all look alike to me”—even the Wikipedia account on Brown is well-sourced and replete with accounts of highly questionable behavior.
Smith will face two challenges in seeking the nomination. One is money, a challenge to any newcomer. The other is convincing the voters in the district it is time for a change.
You’d think it’d be obvious, with the unemployment rate in double digits and where the scales tip to a majority black population. If Smith can fine-tune her own machine to reach the ears of those who will actually turn out to vote, she stands a good chance of winning the nomination and the seat. If she spells out for her district specifics about what she will change and how, her odds are excellent.
If Smith does end up as nominee and Brown agrees to debate her, the advantage would be so heavily tipped to Smith there wouldn’t be much point in Brown saying a word.
Smith maintains an active presence on her Facebook page; those interested in helping with her campaign can visit her website.
Day on the Day will follow this and other races throughout the 2014 campaign season.
(Filed by Kay B. Day/Nov. 18, 2013)
Please share and/or comment on our articles. Indie publishers are challenged by status quo search engines.