I got a call from a polling organization that led me to believe that Evelyn Langlieb Greer, the former mayor of Pinecrest (an upscale Miami suburb) and current member of the Miami-Dade County Public School Board, is laying the groundwork for a run for Congress in Florida’s 18th district against Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican incumbent.
Greer’s name has been mentioned as a potential candidate, but this is the first I’ve heard of an actual effort to find out whether the voters in the 18th district, which consists of most of the southern suburbs of Miami and all of the Florida Keys, would be open to her running for the seat. I told the pollster that I would be very interested in seeing anybody run against a Republican in the district.
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen has been a huge water-carrier for the Bush administration on everything from the war in Iraq to voting against SCHIP, and she stands squarely with the dwindling number of los historicos in Little Havana who flip out whenever Fidel Castro and the embargo is mentioned. But she is also a supporter of gay rights, including supporting gays in the military and voting against the Federal Marriage Amendment. According to Wikipedia, she has also been a supporter of, and received campaign contributions from, the Church of Scientology. (Does that mean that Tom Cruise will show up at her campaign rallies?)
My guess is that the poll call I got last night was from the Greer people testing the waters. It will be interesting to see if she ends up running; she might give Ros-Lehtinen a run for her considerable money. The district, which used to be held by the late Claude Pepper, went for Bush by 54% in 2004, but Greer has made a name for herself in local politics and on the school board.