It's been really tough being a Democrat in Florida over the last 20 years - I live in basically what amounts to the Alabama of Hillsborough County. Yes, we are part of the I-4 corridor, but my immediate vicinity is a mix of rural farmland and upscale residences preferred by Republican types.
Recently, I have spent the last six months surrounded by Romney and Fire Obama! yard signs. Before that I have endured JEB! and his education reforms, the horror of the 2000 election, a complete and total takeover of state government by Republicans, Rick Scott's foolish rejection of High Speed Rail dollars and a really hopeless feeling that we would never rid ourselves of this GOP domination.
I had some brief hope after Obama was elected that the state was trending more blue, but then we had that tea party disaster that resulted in Florida's Felonious Governor was elected, along with his henchwoman Pam Bondi, who worked overtime trying to undermine the President. There was so much on the line here - not only was the Presidency at stake; but the Republican legislature had worked overtime trying to push through a bunch of Constitutional amendments that would have removed the right to reproductive privacy, blurred the lines of Separations of Church and State, and trying to oust three FL SC justices so Rick Scott could replace them with right wing ideologues to do their bidding. There was just a tremendous amount of issues and races riding on the election.
I am thrilled to report that not only is Florida firmly in the President's win column, but a great deal of wonderful things happened tonight on a state and local level. Eight of 11 amendments were defeated, and I can live with the ones that passed (mostly property tax breaks for active duty vets and the surviving spouses of first responders). Florida said NO to weakening the protections for women's reproductive rights and the church and state separation, NO to GOP schemes to stack the SC with their hand-picked judicial stenographers, and while we are a way from taking back either house of the legislature, Democrats picked up enough seats that the Republicans will no longer have a super-majority in the legislature. Among the bright spots was the win by Kathy Castor's sister, who will represent the Melbourne area in the Florida Senate and appears to be a future rising star in the party that needs them desperately.
On a more local level, East Hillsborough's version of Sarah Palin, Ronda Storms, lost her bid for Hillsborough County Property Appraiser. She left the Fl Senate to run for this office, thinking she had an easy shot to a position where the incumbent usually has a pretty easy time towards re-election, barring a scandal. FOTF darling Terry Kemple was defeated for a school board race that makes me shudder to think of him being elected to any political office.
The icing on the cake is that Rick Scott has permanently pissed off every Florida voter that was inconvenienced by the long waits and other general hassles from his partisan attempts at voter suppression. His days are thankfully numbered!