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Negron HQ

10:16 p.m.


  It looks like this is going to go down to the wire. Negron won Charlotte
Cty by only a couple of dozen votes.

  He took Martin by 56 percent, about
6,400 votes.
  But that doesn't give him a huge lead and leaves St. Lucie, where
Democrats are a little more plentiful, open. And it leaves Palm Beach,
which is Mahoney's base.

here's some copy:

Negron – reisner

  By 8 p.m., an hour after the polls closed, Negron’s headquarters at the
Marriott Hutchinson Island Resort was already filling with wildly optimistic supporters. And as the early returns came in their optimism swelled.
  This, despite the fact that Negron was about three percentage points
behind Mahoney with about 10 percent of the district’s approximately
450,000 registered voters counted.

  Supporters crowded in front of a large movie screen, about 15 feet by 15 feet, to watch election coverage on Fox News, cheering exuberantly at
every GOP turn of fortune to the good and booing at good news on the Democratic side.
  Odias Smith, a Republican activist from Palm City and former candidate
for the St. Martin County Commission, worked on Negron’s behalf all day Tuesday  covering 12 polling places.  He said the signs were good.
  “We had people coming out and giving us thumbs up,” Smith said. “People were pumped.”
  The mood got a little quieter as 10 o’clock approached.
  Negron squeaked to victory in Charlotte County by just 24 votes, 17,261 to Mahoney’s 17,237, forboding in a county where Republicans outnumber Democrats by 44 percent to 31 percent with about 20 percent declaring no affiliation.
  That left the election in the hands of voters in Negron’s Martin County
base , where Republicans dominate, and St. Lucie County, where Democrats hold a slight edge.
  With all precincts counted, Negron won Martin  6,382 votes, giving him a
56 percent margin.
  Meanwhile, Mahoney appeared to have a 4,000 vote lead in St. Lucie.


10:25 p.m.

 this just in: a negron guy just came to the podium, saying: "everybody
knows how close we are. our candidate is here, upstairs, trying to
figure out exactly how many votes we have. he'll be done as soon as he

here's a little more copy:

  Richard Addison, pastor of The Grace Place Community Church in Stuart, has known Negron since the candidate was 12 years old and a member of the church. He praised his old friend for overcoming the challenges he faced coming into the election at the last moment to replace the disgraced Foley.
  “Joe stepped up to the challenge remarkably well,” he said. “He
communicated that a vote for Foley is a vote for Joe. And he’s well
known in of the district because he served in the Florida House. He’s
really done an outstanding job.


10:41 p.m.

 looks like mahoney has it. w/o martin, he's ahead by 9,600 votes. 

  Negron won Martin by about 6,400 which puts Mahoney ahead by 3,200. And Mahoney's gap is widening Palm Beach.

  just announcing that negron is coming down in about 10 minutes. i'll
start typing up supporter stuff that i've gotten already. think it'll
probably stand after concession. will get you quotes from concession, as


11:04 p.m.

I was expecting it to be a close race. But with only 4 ½ weeks to
campaign and not getting your name on the ballot, Joe has done an
outstanding job.

It was a huge effort given that he only had a very short time to get
everything in place. I can’t even imagine that kind of pressure.

Given that amount of time and the great volunteer base he’s got, I think
he did a remarkable job. How do you go cover an eight county district in
one day, and try to reach hit everybody?

I think he did what he needed to do.

Doesn’t think Foley hurt Negron. In a way, he said, it helped.

“It helped in a way because it brought an awful lot of attention. If
they wanted to vote for Joe, they knew what they had to do.”

10:50, about 200 people in the crowd.

I apologize for the delay and keeping you here but its been a very close
race… it looks like we’re coming up a little bit short.

About five weeks ago on Monday, Oct, 12, the republican party of lforida
asked me to basically get into this race and see if we could keep it in
the republican column,”

Then, he said, they “told me a couple of things I needed to know.”

First, that his name wouldn’t appear on the ballot. And second, that he
had only 5 ½ weeks to campaign.

“It looks like we’re coming up a little short and a few minutes ago, I
called Tim Mahoney and congratulated him on his victory,” Negron said.
“He’s the new congressman for the 16th district.”

Thank you all very much for everything that you’ve done. I’ve had the great opportunity  to serve in the legislature and do wonderful things.
I continue to have a great desire to remain in public service and will
continue in that arena.

“We ran a competitive race. We gave the people a choice and I’m very
proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together.”




  Covering the headquarters was a different ballgame.

  Instead of sending a story-style file in Word, I sent material via e-mail as I got it.

  Arrived at the HQ at around 8. To your left are the e-mails as I sent them.

  You'll see that I started reporting right away, gathering information and quotes that would stand whether Negron won or lost.

  I got lucky in that I ended up sitting at the press table next to a guy from the Stuart News with whom I competed 15 or so years back in NJ.

   He helped a lot by explaining the lay of the land, by pointing out or introducing me to sources and by letting me take notes as he interviewed.

  We also followed the returns together, tweaking out how the votes were coming in and what the trends meant.

   This wasn't a problem, because we weren't competing on the story.

  You'll also note that I kept the Times bureau chief up to date on what I was seeing.

  The Times' deadline was at about 11 and Negron came out just a few minutes before that.

  To make that deadline, I typed his concession speech into an e-mail as he spoke. So, when he finished all I needed to do was clean it up and send it.







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