Jennifer Carroll, the one-time lieutenant governor forced from office amid a gambling scandal in which she was never really implicated, is hitting the campaign trail again -- but not for herself.
Carroll is scheduled to be a featured speaker on Monday, Feb. 17 at a Stuart campaign kickoff for congressional candidate Carl Domino, her former Republican colleague in the state House.
Telegenic but prone to say some controversial things (e.g., "black women that look like me don’t engage" in lesbian sex), Carroll has maintained a respectful silence about Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff and top lawyer for essentially forcing her to resign as lieutenant governor after she was questioned about the Allied Veterans of the World gambling ring that masqueraded as a charity.
Bottom line: Scott's team was happy to jettison her as soon as possible.
What'll she say in Stuart?
Carroll's appearance as a draw in the CD-18 race is noteworthy as well because of her race. Florida Republicans are disproportionately white, yet she was the first African-American lieutenant governor and Domino is running in a crowded GOP primary against a black candidate, Calvin Turnquest. They're challenging first-term Democrat Patrick Murphy, who narrowly defeated controversial U.S. Rep. Allen West, also Africant-American, by a mere 0.6 percentage points. President Obama lost the district by 1.1 percentage points.
In the 2012 congressional race, West's race likely wasn't his downfall. It was the fact that he just kept saying inflammatory stuff, his campaign at the end was almost all negative and 2012 was an Obama-Democratic wave year.
This election, like other midterms, will likely lean more Republican. Carroll's cameo aside, Murphy is in a dicey position -- especially if he faces a black candidate like Turnquest, who isn't as prone to off-the-cuff remarks as West and can probably draw some crossover votes in a district where almost 10 percent of the registered voters are African-American.