U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida has died. He was 84.
Out of respect for the dead, I’m going to refrain from criticizing Hastings’s political career. Regardless of whatever else you may hear about him, his constituents apparently loved him and he looked after them and that is, after all, what a member of the House is supposed to do.
I was one of the few people to follow the 2020 presidential campaign of Miramar, Florida mayor Wayne Messam. Messam didn’t get much respect from the national press, despite the fact that Miramar was bigger than Pete Buttigieg’s South Bend. I think the only time that he made national news was when it was revealed that his campaign had apparently only raised $5 during one of the reporting periods. Messam dropped out before the Democratic primaries.
At the time, there was some speculation that Messam’s main motive for running was to increase his profile so that he could run for Alcee Hastings’s seat whenever Hastings retired or died. I guess we’ll find out if that’s the case now. Hastings’s seat will be filled by a special election. Given that it’s probably a lifetime seat, the field will be crowded. Will Messam run? I kind of hope he does, just to increase the number of former presidential candidates currently serving in the House of Representatives.
According to RRH Election, another possible candidate is Gregory Tony, the sheriff of Broward County. Tony is a controversial figure but at least he kept the truly loathsome Scott Israel from reclaiming the sheriff’s office in 2020.