Will Burt Aaronson run against Anne Gannon?

Palm Beach County Commissioner Burt Aaronson has been telling south county politicos that he plans to run against county Tax Collector Anne Gannon. Aaronson will be termed out of office in 2012, leaving him at liberty to challenge Gannon for another constitutional office.

Aaronson has been feuding with Gannon ever since the tax collector backed Dan Gelber over Dave Aronberg in the Democratic primary for attorney general, a race that Gelber won, only to lose to Republican Pam Bondi in the general election.

Aaronson will huff and puff and threaten to blow Gannon’s house down, but he’s not going to do it.

Aaronson’s number one priority is to demonstrate his political power by electing his assistant, Mary Lou Berger, to take his place on the County Commission. A run against Gannon does not further that cause, and it’s too risky a play. At 83 years old, Aaronson could end his career on a loss.  Even if he won, being tax collector doesn’t hold the same power as being a county commissioner. In the end, tax collector is just a day-to-day clerical function. Hardly a job dreams are made of.

It’s a smart bluff, though, because Aaronson could use the leverage he builds with the fake-out to convince Gannon loyalists to close ranks around Berger, and that would help Aaronson prove what a big shot he is.

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Jack Furnari

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