Seminole goes blue, but only for Biden


photo by Bethany Barker

Laura Shaw’s column is a recurring column where she discusses her view of political matters and events both locally and nationally.

On Tuesday night, Seminole County, a historically Republican county, defeated all odds and flipped Democrat for the first time since 1948, but despite this achievement it failed to diversify the heavy Republican hold down the ballot.

Polls leading up to the election led people to believe that Seminole would go blue by a much larger margin than it did, leading many down the ballot Democrats to have false hope. State House Republican Representatives David Smith and Scott Plakon were both reelected by a large percent of the votes and Democrat Joy Goff-Marcil held onto her seat. But the most devastating loss for Democrats comes from State Senate District 9.

The race garnered national attention with millions of dollars spent on both sides, Democrat Patricia Sigman collected celebrity endorsements like President Barack Obama, Mayor Pete Buttigeg and actress Mandy Moore. Despite this, Sigman lost by 1.5%. 

As someone who interned and was dedicated to the campaign, this came as a shock. Throughout 2019 the seat was dismissed and Republicans assumed that former House 28 Representative Jason Brodeur had it in the bag. No one could think of anyone that would be able to take on such a strong and well-involved politician. Then Sigman emerged from a list of well qualified lawyers selected by the Political Action Committee Senate Victory. She came into a race that was supposed to be an easy steal for Brodeur and made it a worthwhile fight. 

This divide can be further can be attributed to two things: Seminole County is more anti-Trump than pro-Democrat, and too many people still do not pay attention to local elections. Failure to pay attention and vote down ballots and across party lines can cost us more than what people really think.

Some major and relevant legislation implemented by the state government is the unemployment system and voting rights for felons. The unemployment system caused difficulties for many people, especially recently, because of a long and inconsistent application system. Amendment 4, which would grant felons the right to vote, is still under discussion, as Governor Ron DeSantis’ imposed a fine requirement for felons before they can vote.

The point is, state and local government impacts yourself and your community. Compassion is something that we all need to have right now, care for those struggling in your community, care for those who have made past mistakes and most importantly care for yourself by being aware of what is at stake in these elections. 

A lot of people, including myself, have problems with our federal government, but our government was built so we wouldn’t have to solely rely on that. So many things are decided just within the state, which is what a lot of our democracy is about, and neglecting to educate yourself on local issues and candidates does not do anyone any good. 

My hope going forward, as many of us will be able to vote in the next election, is that our generation recognizes the significance of smaller races and benefits ourselves and our community members by giving them the attention they truly warrant. Don’t neglect your democracy just because you don’t like who’s in charge. Do your part because if you really put in the effort, you can be the change.