Joe Scarborough Asked to Challenge Katherine Harris
An effort is reportedly underway to persuade Joe Scarborough to run for the Senate in 2006 against Katherine Harris.
Two local businessmen active in Republican Party politics say the GOP is courting cable TV host Joe Scarborough to replace U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris in the 2006 Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. Scarborough, a former U.S. representative, has met with senior Republican officials, Collier Merrill, a Pensacola businessman told the Pensacola News Journal in a report for Wednesday’s editions. The other businessman, Eric Nickelsen, said he had contacted Scarborough and encouraged him to run, and he corroborated that other party leaders wanted the cable talk show host to challenge Harris.
Scarborough declined to comment late Tuesday. He was sent to Congress four times from the Pensacola area, beginning in 1994.
Some polls have shown Harris lagging behind Nelson. But Harris’s campaign manager, Jim Dornan, said Harris has no plans to step out of the race. Harris is best known for her role as Florida’s then-secretary of state during the 2000 presidential recount.
Scarborough may indeed be a more formidable candidate than Harris. He’s rather genial and does not have the baggage with which the 2000 race has left Harris saddled. Nelson will be difficult to unseat in any case and having a very polarizing candidate who has difficulty appealing to moderates would make it even harder.
Of course, Scarborough has a problem of his own: a huge transcript trail from his television and radio programs. The ability to take embarrassing off-the-cuff remarks, even out of context, and air them in television or radio spots is likely endless.