Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The political dust settles

Ron Reagan, the retiring state representative for House District 67 from the Braden Woods neighborhood, was at Lakewood Ranch's Polo Grill Tuesday night for Greg Steube's victory celebration.

Steube had just defeated Jeremiah Guccione and Robert McCann in the primary to claim the Republican nomination. He won it going away; it wasn't even close.

You might expect Steube to be a bit emotional, but he was as even keeled as he had been throughout the campaign. He talked about staying on message and staying positive throughout the campaign, and he talked about heading to Tallahasee Thursday for a GOP strategy session for the general election.

It was Reagan who showed the emotion of the moment.

In his heart of hearts, Reagan would have liked another term in Tallahassee. He thrived in legislative chambers, and served as president pro tempore of the House, where he frequently presided, filling in for the House speaker.

But term limits mean that two Bradenton lawmakers who were rookies themselves eight years ago -- Reagan and Bill Galvano -- will be stepping down.

When Galvano and and Reagan were first elected, it was at the end of John McKay's years in Tallahassee. The Bradenton resident was one of the most powerful members of the legislature and a former Senate president. Folks wondered what Manatee County would do without his clout.

Eventually, time and experience answered that question.

Eight years. It goes by quick. Reagan looked around at the Polo Grill and noted that it didn't even exist eight years ago, nor did any of Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.

Steube has likely already won the hardest part of his battle to win admission to the Florida House. He still faces a challenge in November from Democrat Z. J. Hafeez and  no-party candidate John Studebaker. But Steube is the odds-on-favorite to claim Reagan's chair.

For more, see Thursday's Herald.

Changing of the guard: Greg Steube (left) with Ron Reagan.

Sheriff Brad Steube and his wife, Debbie, parents of GOP House
 nominee Greg Steube (center) and Grant and Julie Steube.

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