Lois Frankel benefits from government shutdown fight

Sun Sentinel

Freshman U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel is a political winner, in the short-term at least, from this month’s partial shutdown of the federal government.

Her political position heading toward her first re-election next year has improved, thanks to Republican efforts that led to the shutdown, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Its latest ratings have moved its ratings of 15 House races, including Frankel’s.

As recently as the Cook Report’s Oct. 9 ratings, Frankel was listed in the category of “likely Democratic.”

The latest ratings, issued Thursday, have her in the “solidly Democratic” territory.

The 22nd Congressional District, which takes in mostly coastal Broward and Palm Beach counties, leans Democratic. But the best chance for an opposition party to pick off an incumbent before the next decennial redistricting is during a member of Congress’ first re-election attempt. After that it’s far more difficult.

The latest federal campaign reports, filed this week, show Frankel had $281,600 in her campaign account on July 1.

She raised $119,500 in July, August and September and spent $109,900, leaving her with a balance of $291,200 on Sept. 30.

General contractor David Wagie, who has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination, hasn’t reported raising or spending money, according to the Federal Election Commission website.

Cook Political report moved ratings for 15 seats. Fourteen, including Frankel’s moved in the Democrats’ favor.

The only incumbent from Broward or Palm Beach counties that Cook puts in any jeopardy in next year’s elections is freshman U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat who represents northern Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.

He remains in the most vulnerable category, “Democratic toss up” where he’s been continually.

In 2012, Murphy won a close election against U.S. Rep. Allen West.

West, who had substantial support in the tea party movement, had represented the Broward-Palm Beach district now held by Frankel. Searching for a more Republican-friendly district, West moved north and competed against Murphy.

The movement of Frankel and the others is a result of the partial government shutdown pushed by Republicans who wanted to end or weaken the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

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