Attacks Fly in Governor's Race as Session Winds Down

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: April 30, 2014 3:55 AM
Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

Even as the legislative session winds down to a close at the end of the week, the attacks continue to come in the gubernatorial race which promises to be one of the premier contests across the nation this year.

On May 6, former President Bill Clinton will be attending a fundraiser in Miami Beach for the Democratic Governors Association (DGA). The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) is using the opportunity of Clinton’s visit to hit former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott in November despite spending most of his political life as a Republican.

The RPOF is showcasing Crist’s call for Clinton to resign in 1998 as the Monica Lewinsky scandal dominated national news and politics. On Tuesday, the RPOF launched a Web ad showing Crist calling for Clinton to resign. In 1998, Crist was the Republican nominee challenging U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla. Crist lost to Graham that November.


“The only thing that stays the same about Charlie Crist is that he will say or do anything for money and fame,” said RPOF Executive Director Justin Johnson on Tuesday. “Was Charlie Crist lying then, when he called Bill Clinton a liar and asked him to resign from office, or is he lying now, when he calls him a friend?”

This won’t be the only time this year that Clinton will be wading into Florida politics. He will be headlining the Florida Democratic Party’s Blue Leadership dinner in June.

Crist’s team gave as good as they got on Tuesday with Jared Mueller, Crist’s director of budget and operations, revealing plans to open up two more field offices in May after launching one in Broward County earlier this month. Mueller contrasted the opening with Crist’s office in Broward County to Scott’s team opening one in Miami.

“Earlier this month, the exact same day that hundreds of people came out for our office opening in Broward County, the Scott campaign held an open house at their new office in Miami,” Mueller insisted on Tuesday. “Based on the (very few) pictures that came out of their event, there were maybe 40 people there. Maybe.”

On Tuesday, Sarah Manzanno from the Florida Democratic Party piled on Scott insisting Florida would be “better off ... without Rick Scott as governor.”

In the meantime, as the candidates continue to fire shots at each other, the stage is being set for November.

On Tuesday, Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association announced they would be holding a gubernatorial debate on Oct. 15 at Broward with television coverage across the state.

Invitations have been sent out to the four leading candidates: Scott, Crist, former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie. But it’s certainly possible changes could be coming for the debate when it’s held, as “participation in the debate will be determined by meeting criteria that will be announced at a later date,” per the release.

“We’re proud to produce this important dialogue between the top contenders vying to be Florida’s next governor,” said Broward College President David Armstrong, the chairman of Leadership Florida, on Tuesday. “This debate will help millions of voters learn more about who these candidates are and where they stand on the issues that affect Floridians the most.”

Rich continues to demand a debate with Democratic primary rival Crist while Wyllie holds events to showcase his positions on the issues. On Tuesday, Wyllie held a “Toke the Vote” event in Miami to showcase his support of marijuana legalization.


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (3)

broward bob
7:54AM MAY 2ND 2014
now the simpering hack bloggeer wines is comparing crist to hitler. stay classy, leslie. although your ability to do is highly doubtful.
2:42PM APR 30TH 2014
WOW, a "Broward Gubernatorial Debate" in October ! Well, doesn't THAT make { Broward President David Armstrong, Chairman of "Leadership Florida"} appear I-m-p-o-r-t-a-n-t ?!? Millions of Florida voters ALREADY KNOW who these candidates are... So, WHY would an uber-liberal college president seek to appear collegial, unless it was with Morgan & Morgan and their $$$-ilk-$$$...errr, I mean colleagues... David, we voters "have your number", as well as "Charlie The Tuna's" (NOT THIS TIME CHARLIE !) and as well as the "Florida Press Association" (the 'poor cousins' to the Northeastern NY & D.C. dying media control freaks).....
broward bob
12:29PM APR 30TH 2014
Sadly, Rich has no chance. With closet Scott supporter Joe Krabs drawing her signs with crayons to make her look bad, and hack blogger Leslie Wines pumping out repeated sexist name-calling trash that always says the same things, things can only get worse for Rich and better for Crist. Rich needs money, name recognition, a competent campaign staff that give her better advice (all u[filtered word]ly) and supporters that don't act like buffoons. Ie: NOT Krabs or Wines.

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