Florida’s Ridiculous Race for Governor
Amid all the buzz about Charlie Crist’s Senate bid, one of the things that it getting missed by the media is the complete absurdity of the Governor’s race.
Here’s my breakdown leading up to the primary on August 24th, for anyone that hasn’t been paying attention:
Rick Scott - the current front-runner in the primary. His resume includes being the tea-party candidate, running the Columbia/HCA hospital chain (Scott acknowledges, he was “responsible” for what became the largest Medicare fraud case in U.S. history, totaling $1.7 billion while there) and settling a completely separate lawsuit for filing false medical licensing information with the state six days before he started his campaign. His stances include support for an Arizona style immigration law, firing a significant number of state employees and drug testing all welfare recipients. Scott is pumping millions of dollars into the race from the fortune he has amassed, which is playing a large part in his standings in the polls.
Bill McCollum - The current Attorney General in Florida, he entered the race in the lead, until Rick Scott began his campaign in April. He’s the career politician in the race, so his appeal is starting to wane. Particularly in light of some of Scott’s attack ads. McCollum is a cohort of Charlie Crist, which can work either way depending where in the state you are. Like Scott, he’s done very little to actually outline how his jobs plan is going to work in a state with a $6 billion dollar deficit, but he’s sticking to it. McCollum got negative press earlier this year for ties to the Jim Greer scandal and paying “Rentboy” Renkers $120,000 to provide “expert testimony” in his defense of Florida’s ban on homosexual adoptions. As AG, McCullum is heading Florida’s challenge of the new national healthcare bill.
Mike McCalister - is the dark horse candidate. He entered the race late and hasn’t had much of a television presence. Honestly, his best chance might just be to play up the “I’m not one of those other dishonest candidates” angle. He’s supposedly planning a media rush the week before the election…
Alex Sink - Sink’s husband ran and lost his campaign for the same position against Jeb Bush in 2002. Alex is now running to be the first female to hold the position. She is currently the Chief Financial Officer of the state, which will probably be a liability in the general campaign, considering that the state is running a huge deficit. The GOP has also already set-out to tarnish her banker credentials, by trying (inaccurately) to tie her to the Jim Greer case. For her part, her campaign has been completely disorganized to this point and she is just starting to gain buzz for her green jobs proposal.
Brian P. Moore - Was a presidential candidate in 2008 for the Socialist Party of USA. I don’t see him getting past the primary in a state like Florida.
Lawton “Bud” Chiles - Another late-comer to the race. He’s son of a former democratic politician that is fairly well respected throughout the state. His campaign is disorganized though, so he is not running as a democrat, so that he can skip the primary to get more prepared. A perfect recipe for splitting the democratic vote.
There are also a slew of other hopefuls that likely won’t go anywhere near the general election…
This would all be very interesting to watch, if not for the dire straights that the state is in. I have high hopes for Bud Chiles, but since he hasn’t actually made a strong case yet for why he should be governor, it remains to be seen if he really is the best choice for the state. In the end, he might just split the democratic votes enough to give the GOP candidate the lead. And given the overall national tone and Florida’s history, I would expect that whoever wins the GOP primary is going to be the next governor. However, I can’t see the majority of voters going for Rick Scott’s shenanigans.