In the political lexicon, there is a quote that has been moprhed and transformed over the years. Most people attribute it to Huey Long, but that could be as much as urban myth. However, Congressman Mark Foley has given us a modern example:
In this case, Foley has been caught sending emails to a live boy – a teenager that is a former page for the U.S. House of Representatives. A number of media outlets have reported that Foley had sent emails after the page had served in Congress, asking the boy his age and requesting a picture. The teenager subsequently forwarded them to another Congressional staffer.
As a result of the emails coming to light, Foley not only ended his virtual-lock campaign, but has resigned his position in Congress. His statement was posted on The Buzz:
“Today I have delivered a letter to the Speaker of the House informing him of my decision to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives, effective today. I thank the people of Florida’s 16th Congressional District for giving me the opportunity to serve them for the last twelve years; it has been an honor.
“I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent.”
The Central Florida Pulse from the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that outgoing state representative Joe Negron, a former candidate for Florida Attorney General, will seek the Congressional seat:
State Rep. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, said this afternoon that he’s already decided to run for Mark Foley‘s congressional seat.
Negron, who spent the last two years as the House budget chief, had raised more than $1.3 million for an expected attorney general campaign. But he dropped out of that race after former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum decided to run.
“I’m in the race,” Negron said, when reached on his cell phone, adding that he had only learned of Foley’s resignation an hour and 15 minutes ago. “I think it’s important that District 16 stay in the Republican column.”
None of the media reports have indicated whether Democrat candidate Tim Mahoney will win the seat automatically, or if the Republican Party will have the chance to fill Foley’s position with another name. Two other Republicans, State Representative Jeff Kottkamp and State Representative Ken Littlefield have been replaced when they resigned, respectively, to run for Lieutenant Governor and serve on the Public Service Commission.
Regardless who the party nominates to take Foley’s place, Mark Foley’s name will still be on the ballot. Voters may think they are still voting for Mark Foley — which leads The State of Sunshine to believe that this seat will go to the Democrats.
Given the tight races elsewhere in the state (Buchanan-Jennings, Shaw-Klein), Florida could be the state that give us… wait for it… Speaker Nancy Pelosi.