Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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Super Star

Nombre de messages : 2429
Localisation : Montreal
Loisirs : cockfighting
Date d'inscription : 24/12/2007

MessageSujet: A FOS NOU GOUMEN ANTRE NOU   Ven 27 Aoû 2010 - 22:14

Split in Haitian vote lifted Frederica Wilson to congressional win

State Sen. Frederica Wilson comfortably won a primary to follow in Kendrick Meek's footsteps to Washington.

Frederica Wilson likely headed for 17th district Congressional seat
Frederica Wilson dominated a nine-candidate field for the Democratic nomination for the 17th Congressional seat vacated by Kendrick Meek. With no apparent opposition in the general election, she will likely go to Washington. She celebrated Tuesday night at the Chef Creole restaurant in Miami Gardens.
Miami Herald Staff
Frederica Wilson likely headed for 17th district Congressional seat


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In the end, the chance to make history by sending the nation's first Haitian American to Congress came down to numbers in the hard-fought and crowded field of candidates in the 17th Congressional District.
The unofficial results released Wednesday show that the four Haitian American candidates collectively got almost 20,000 votes in the Democratic primary -- enough to defeat the winning candidate, state Sen. Frederica Wilson, a popular African American lawmaker. She garnered more than 16,500 votes in the safe Democratic seat held by Rep. Kendrick Meek, who won his party's U.S. Senate nomination by trouncing real estate tycoon Jeff Greene.
Now Wilson is widely expected to defeat lawyer Roderick Vereen, who is running without party affiliation, in the Nov. 2 general election.
Haitian-American community leaders and others said the opportunity to make history unraveled months earlier when the four Haitian-American candidates could not agree on backing out and tossing their support behind a single candidate.
``There's no reason why we should not be in that seat already,'' said Jacques Despinosse, a longtime Haitian-American political stalwart. ``The seat was put in our hands. We blew it.''
As it turned out, results in the crammed race weren't even that close.
Wilson won with almost 35 percent of the vote, amassing almost 9,000 more votes than the candidate who placed second with about 16 percent of the vote: physician and lawyer Rudy Moise, the leading Haitian-American candidate.
``If there's any surprise, it was how comfortable her victory was,'' said Fernand Amandi, managing partner of Bendixen & Amandi, a Coral Gables-based political consulting firm.
The top two finishers in the nine-way contest lent themselves money and were the most prolific fundraisers in the campaign, though they were separated by a significant gap: Moise's war chest was more than eight times larger than Wilson's.
Moise, having never run for office before, used his deep pockets to buy TV time and send out mailers introducing himself to the more than 600,000 residents of the diverse district, which stretches from Overtown to Miami Gardens to Pembroke Pines.
Wilson, on the other hand, relied on name recognition from having been on numerous previous ballots for the Florida House and Senate, and for the Miami-Dade School Board. She also tapped an established network of volunteers to call voters and appeal to them at polling places with reminders of Wilson's years of experience in Tallahassee.
Results show that Wilson in Miami-Dade took a majority of votes in precincts along the western portion of the district -- including voter-rich Miami Gardens, home to two other candidates, Mayor Shirley Gibson, who placed third, and City Council member André Williams, Gibson's cousin, who came in ninth.
In Broward, Wilson did well overall, though Moise beat her in quite a few Hollywood precincts, and North Miami City Council member Scott Galvin -- the only white candidate in the race, who placed seventh -- also won the majority of votes at some polling sites.
Wilson was less successful among eastern communities in Miami-Dade, where most of the district's thousands of Haitian Americans live.
There, the Haitian-born Moise fared better -- as did the three other Haitian American candidates, state Rep. Yolly Roberson; her ex-husband, former state Rep. Phillip Brutus; and, to a lesser extent, activist Marleine Bastien, who came in fourth, fifth and sixth places, respectively. Finishing eighth was state Rep. James Bush III.
Together, Moise, Roberson, Brutus and Bastien garnered more than 19,500 votes -- about 3,000 more than Wilson.
That doesn't mean one Haitian-American candidate would have necessarily attracted more votes than Wilson. But the numbers have not gone unnoticed.
``It's frustrating -- very, very frustrating,'' said Gepsie Metellus, executive director of the Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center. ``But we're not different at all from any other political community coming into its own.''
Early on in the race, leaders like Metellus pushed behind the scenes to winnow down the field to try to elect the first Haitian American to Congress. Yet they were unsuccessful in narrowing the field.

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