Florida's 2014 Gubernatorial Race is Starting Early

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: August 22, 2013 3:55 AM

Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

Labor Day has generally been the kickoff of general elections as candidates sprint through the last two months of the election. But things could be different in Florida as the governor’s race starts to heat up.

So far, former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich is the only major gubernatorial candidate in the race. Rich has done little in terms of making much of an impression despite being in the race since last spring and she has not done well in terms of fundraising.

Rich continues to get more attention from Republicans than she does from her own party. Lenny Curry, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), insisted on Wednesday that Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant was getting ready to back former Gov. Charlie Crist in 2014. Crist had been a Republican for most of his political career but, losing to Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate primary, he left the GOP in 2010 to stay in the race with no party affiliation. At the end of 2012, having endorsed President Barack Obama’s re-election, Crist joined the Democrats.

“Instead of embracing Senator Rich, Allison Tant and the Florida Democratic establishment are shunning her, laying out the red carpet for another former Republican in Charlie Crist, who tanked Florida's economy with 832,000 jobs lost, unemployment jumping from 3.5 percent to 11.1 percent, the second largest jump in unemployment out of all 50 states and D.C.,” Curry wrote in a memo sent out on Wednesday. “Unlike Senator Rich, the recently turned Democrat Charlie Crist has a record of being pro-life, pro-family, pro-business, anti-tax and anti-big spending. Why Allison Tant is turning to former Republicans with records of failure is beyond comprehension.”

Curry promised Florida Republicans that the RPOF’s efforts to keep Gov. Rick Scott in office will be starting after Labor Day early next month. “Get ready, because after Labor Day, the campaign to keep Florida on the right track will be ramping up,” Curry insisted.

The RPOF continues to bash Crist and talk up Scott while, besides Rich, other potential Democratic candidates appear unlikely to run. Former CFO Alex Sink, who lost to Scott in 2010, talked to the Tampa Bay Times this week and left the door open to running but noted her family was not exactly supportive of a second gubernatorial bid. Sink also said she assumes Crist is going to run. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., continues to say he has no plans to run for governor, repeating this week that he had no intention of jumping in the contest. Crist has a memoir coming out in early February in which he explains why he left the GOP. The book should give Crist some media exposure and possibly a tour of the state. Scott has certainly indicated that he intends to get a quick start on the election. Last month, Scott told National Review that he would spend $25 million in early 2014 to define his opponent.

The Florida gubernatorial contest should rank as one of the most closely watched elections next year. Part of that comes from other large states appearing to have less competitive gubernatorial contests. Democrats Gov. Jerry Brown of California and Andew Cuomo of New York appear to be cruising to second terms. While Gov. Rick Perry of Texas might be retiring, whoever wins the Republican nomination will be a heavy favorite to become governor. With Florida shaping up to have one of the most competitive races in the nation, it appears the gubernatorial race will be starting early.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (100)

Michael T.Lemen
9:39PM NOV 4TH 2014
Great choices we have in Florida , we have Crist who proved to be a FAILURE and we have Scott who even though he's been proven to be a thief has remained Gov. ( I guess as long as you have money it doesn't mater where you got it ) and any other vote is supposedly a wasted vote . Great choices might as well be a primary election....................
1:38PM JUN 10TH 2014
POLL: Florida Governor 2014
poll.pollcode. c o m /16726962
10:22AM JUN 10TH 2014
As usual, they only list the (R) or the (D) to choose from in polls to make their numbers look good. Everyone I know is sick and tired of the (R's) & (D's). They are from the same gang and some people out there still believe there is a difference, just like the people that still think wrestling is real. Both the (R) & the (D) had their chance and both failed miserably. Why would anyone with any sense at all vote for either of them, again? I am voting for Adrian Wyllie and I urge everyone to do the same. To get something different, you have to vote different. Let's put a stop to the nonsense and get real this time, vote for Adrian Wyllie.
Bill Wohlsifer
3:36PM AUG 29TH 2013
Libertarian Candidate Adrian Wyllie is at 8.7% voter preference according to recent poll. The omission for Candidate Wyllie from this article renders it incomplete and unreliable.
11:35AM AUG 24TH 2013
Adrian Wyllie polled once at 8.7%. That is not "essentially 10%" by the way.
1:31AM AUG 24TH 2013
Adrian Wyllie is s true friend of the people and the most qualified person to lead the state of Florida.
5:45PM AUG 23RD 2013
I do not trust Christi....or Nelson...
I think overall I will vote for Rick Scott. He stands by our Constitution and has financialkly done Florida good. If we give any chance to a Democrat to come into office in Florida, we can kiss Gun ownership good bye, our Constitutional rights and our economy will start heading in the direction of California. THIS is a crucial election for our state. I may not like ALL Rick Scott stands for, but he beleives in gun ownership, our 2nd Amendment rights and running a strong fiscal gov't. NELSON is a weasel and will impliment Obama's agenda and so will Christi. Cristi is a turn coat and voted for Obama...THAT alone says it all. Keeping a Republican as Florida Governor is crucial. Scott also closed all these pill mills in Florida that were killing our kids.
6:30PM AUG 23RD 2013
I'm not even going to rise to the bait . . . these are simply getting more inane by the moment . . .

Pathetic . . .
2:00PM AUG 23RD 2013
Interesting . . . . a very high percentage of the commentators below seem to be commenting here for the very first time on SNN, which is supposed to be a well-established libertarian site . . . .

Could it be that either:

(1) Libertarians don't really consider the site one of theirs . . .

(2) This is representative of a vocal minority trying to persuade the easily lead . . .

(3) These are mostly just directed, made up names and pseudonyms, or . . . .

(4) Representative of something else weird going on . . . .

But then, these types of events appear to happen with a regularity on SSN, for some strange reason . . . . . . . . well, maybe not so strange, after all . . . .
stef willis
3:27PM SEP 16TH 2013
Maybe it's because most Libertarians are too busy working a job, to join a bunch of web pages, but when we see one of our own getting the shaft we have something to say about it? I take it you've never heard of shared information? Facebook? Google? How hard it it to believe, that there are people who are actually sick of seeing the lesser of two evils get pushed on us, like it's all we have to choose from...when it isn't? Obviously this site isn't really showing that many "Libertarian" leanings, to have only mentioned the Democrat and Republican candidates (some of which haven't even decided if they're going to run). While Adrian Wylie was in fact, the very first person to even register to run for office. Good luck trying to convince any real Libertarian, that this news site is Libertarian.
austin chew
9:06AM AUG 23RD 2013
Yay for more biased news!! where is Adrian Wyllie!
Tom M
6:13AM AUG 23RD 2013
what a crap article...love how the media always tries to control the situation... HELLO! Adrian Wyllie (L) is a major contender for Governor in next years election... this "article" should have had a little more thought put in to it.....no Edward R Murrow awards here...
5:55AM AUG 23RD 2013
you did not mention Adrian Wyllie
12:49AM AUG 23RD 2013
Adrian Wyllie is the best, most qualified person to lead the state of Florida. I cannot wait to cast my vote for him!!
Lena Tuthill
12:02AM AUG 23RD 2013
Previously Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul was excluded from press releases like this one. Now Libertarian candidate for Governor of Florida Adrian Wyllie is being excluded. NOT FAIR!!!!!
Larry Potter (Withhold last name please)
11:50PM AUG 22ND 2013
You should have included the Libertarian candidate for Governor, Adrian Wyllie who is polling at about 10% already. Was that article supposed to be "news?" If so, it is misleading by its glaring omission and selective coverage of only 2 out of 3 candidates! When I taught school, 66.7 % was an "F" Grade. You're lucky that you're not my journalism student!
11:54PM AUG 22ND 2013
Since you used my last name without my consent and contrary to my specific request, a reporter of your "cub" caliber really ought to call me, MR. Potter !
8:41PM AUG 22ND 2013



8:20PM AUG 22ND 2013
I'm not really interested in Scott or Crist. Been there and done that. I'll look into this Adrian Wyllie that all your comments are recommending.
william beck
7:26PM AUG 22ND 2013
WTF? As long as the MSM keeps touting republicans and democrats while leaving out third parties, we'll always end up having a choice between Franco American spaghetti and SpaghettiOs. YOU LEFT OUT ADRIAN WYLLIE, you know, mama's homemade pasta!!
Marshall Rawson
7:19PM AUG 22ND 2013
How come that the two carpet bagging scum who aren't even from Florida are mentioned in this article, while the Florida native Adrian Wyllie is left out. Wyllie is the only choice for a free and sovereign Florida!
matthew macik
6:45PM AUG 22ND 2013
adrian wyllie libertarian for florida governor
William Johnson
6:34PM AUG 22ND 2013
You forgot to mention the reason it is starting early Adrian Wyllie Libertarian for govorner
Bruce Smith
5:50PM AUG 22ND 2013
I cannot believe you left off the Libertarian candidate, Adrian Wyllie. I will refuse to vote if the only choices are Charlie Crist or Rick Scott.
James Meadowcroft
5:47PM AUG 22ND 2013
This is why the 2 parties have such a monopoly on our political process. You "journalists" refuse to give the full story and only report half. Adrian is a great candidate and you should have him in the discussion.
5:39PM AUG 22ND 2013
Where is Adrian Wyllie the Libertarian in this equation? The GOP and DNC are dead to most voters nowadays, yet the media keep treating them as set in stone candidates. We are no longer buying the left/right paradigm anymore and it's time media stop pushing the establishment darlings. Get with the program Sunshine State News
5:21PM AUG 22ND 2013
google Adrian Wyllie... Gary Johnson/Ron Paul type Libertarian for Governor of Florida.
5:19PM AUG 22ND 2013
I'm voting for Adrian Wyllie.
5:18PM AUG 22ND 2013
The best candidate in the race is Adrian Wyllie. I believe in the integrity of Floridians to choose him based on his plans and ideals. It's time to vote out the Rs and the Ds and support the Libertarian candidate... wyllieforgovernor . c o m.
Vonabell Sherman
4:47PM AUG 22ND 2013
I guess since writer Eric Guinta has gone we can now expect business as usual in unfair and biased reporting? Adrian Willey, the Libertarian candidate is also running for Governor and you failed to mention him. He is rating nearly 9 % in the polls already. Adrian Willey is traveling the state of Florida meeting the citizens an you totally disregard him? Next time try reporting with integrity . Shame on you.
4:47PM AUG 22ND 2013
This article talks at lenght about Scott, Crist, Sink and even Nelson, none of whom has even filed as a candidate, while ignoring the filed and actively campaigning Libertarian candidate, Adrian Wyllie.

Oh, that's right, I forgot, he's not a bought-n-paid-for ruling party elephant or jackass sock puppet, so not worthy of mention by the cheerleading parrots in the gubbermint-media complex.

Ever wonder why nothing changes, except for the worse?
Tommy King
4:38PM AUG 22ND 2013
Wyllie...Has my vote I'm done with the left right BS.
Robert Anderson
4:34PM AUG 22ND 2013
You can push these hacks all you want. I'm voting for Wyllie!
4:31PM AUG 22ND 2013
WHAT ABOUT ADRIAN WYLLIE??? You know, the 3rd largest party's candidate for governor? Libertarian party candidate Wyllie would destroy these two in a debate, let it happen and quit ignoring the candidates of America's 3rd largest political party!
Michelle Martin
4:15PM AUG 22ND 2013
I am really growing tired of the media thinking it gets to pick and choose for us.
FOR those that do NOT know - there is a 3rd choice for FL Governor - and that choice is Adrian Wyllie. He was polling at 8%+ in a recent poll of FL residents - not insignificant.

Maybe your readers would like ALL of the information so they can make an informed choice? Lord knows many of us are NOT happy with the 2 you have chosen to highlight.

Adrian Wyllie for Governor - look into what he stands for - you will be impressed.
John Gibson
3:41PM AUG 22ND 2013
"Florida's 2014 gubernatorial race is starting early".....yet no mention of Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie who began his campaign a while ago. Nothing journalistically slanted about that, I'm sure.

Wyllie should have every opportunity to engage Florida voters that Scott, Crist, and Nan Rich get. Period.
3:36PM AUG 22ND 2013
Seems like inaccurate journalism to me. That or just lazy journalism. Kevin Derby, what say you? But isn't there more than 2 candidates running for governor?
3:34PM AUG 22ND 2013
Where is the discussion of the other gubernatorial candidates from the other parties? Adrian Wyllie is running a strong campaign as a Libertarian Party candidate. With so many folks claiming to libertarian these days, people are interested in learning what the Libertarian Party candidate is bringing. It's time for the news media to stop ignoring a growing multitude of citizens who want, at the minimum, to explore all their options.
Darrel Hoffman
3:02PM AUG 22ND 2013
You aren't listing the libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. He is making more sense than both of these guys put together..Smarter too. These guys, do not want to debate Mr. Wyllie. He would make them sound foolish. And he's not in the back pocket of some big corporation. He actually is for the people. Not for the people's pockets.
Jote' Thompson
2:59PM AUG 22ND 2013
OK, so here we go again! Libertarian Adrian Wyllie, running for Governor in the latest and most accurate poll StPetePolls.org, comes in at 9%, climbing on the heels of sinking Rick Scott and Sunshine State News somehow "forgets" to mention Wyllie. Not a chance! This is another intentional story to try and confuse the voters, without a doubt. Fortunately, this time, the voters are swinging against corruption.
Anne Buck
2:54PM AUG 22ND 2013
If you are going to write a story, make sure you get all the facts first. Adrian Wyllie, the Libertarian candidate, has been out campaigning for a year and the people are liking what he has to say. Be a good journalist and include ALL who are running in this race.
Jonathan Urban
2:51PM AUG 22ND 2013
I love to see the growing ranks of Libertarians demanding to be acknowledged! When the majority is disgusted with the system, it is the opportune time to give alternatives the chance to be heard. If every voter in Florida heard open debates with all candidates, and stopped with the "lesser evil" crap, we would have a non- Republicrat for governor this time around.
Bill Greystone
2:47PM AUG 22ND 2013
Adrian Wyllie ring a bell? Include ALL the candidates you idiot!!!
2:46PM AUG 22ND 2013
Listen PEOPLE! WE have to make this happen. NOW! Get Out And Make It Known! You Know, Like how a baby rants and raves in order to get the attention they seek?

Well, WE must do the exact same. They won't Highlight it?? Let's DO IT OUR DAM SELVES.

Show Your Support: Print T-Shirts, Posters, Bumper stickers, Flyers, Cards, hell Panhandle the Fact he is running for Florida Governor. We All Can Do A Little Bit To Help! It will add Up! It is Our Due Diligence. Get off the couch from in front of that damn "idiot box" and SUPPORT HIM!

When you sick and tired you will get up and DO SOMETHING!!!!!!

Christi Smoak
2:43PM AUG 22ND 2013
What about Adrian Wyllie??!! He's running for Florida Governor too, in the Libertarian party. I wouldn't vote for Rick Scott again if my life depended on it. He showed his TRUE colors on the 2nd amendment. I will sleep well knowing I did everything I could to keep Scott from returning to office.
2:43PM AUG 22ND 2013
Hey there, you forgot to mention another candidate that's not in the pockets of special interests, namely, Adrian Wyllie! The only votes the Rs and the Ds will get are from uninformed voters. Here we go again - another election that gets decided by the media and money. Pathetic. I'd rather not vote at all if I have to choose between Frick and Frack.
Scott Woodard
2:34PM AUG 22ND 2013
I'm sure it was no accident but someone who is a candidate for Gov. was not mentioned. Who am I speaking of? Adrian Wylie! Kevin Derby probably thinks Mr. Wylie has no chance at winning but that really isn't his place to decide. It is OUR place to decide. It is is place to report who ALL is running. Check out Adrian Wylie at facebook.com/adrianwylie
Michael S.
1:56PM AUG 22ND 2013
Adrian Wyllie - should also have a chance for his voice to be heard as governor. People realize that the current system is not working - they want change; and they want someone who can effect that change - someone who is honest, cares about the issues and wont cave in to cronyism. Wyllie is obviously the best choice and who I will vote for.
1:50PM AUG 22ND 2013
Who is Adrian Wyllie? He is a candidate for governor for the State of Florida.

Who is Sunshine State News? Not sure...But if they are attempting to be a credible news outlet then they should address the "news".

Dictionary Definition of "news" (4th Definition):
"a person, thing, or event considered as a choice subject for journalistic treatment."

When covering the governor's race, Adrian Wyllie for Governor is the definition of "news", so what are you covering at "Sunshine State...". Cover the gubernatorial race comprehensively or you'll discredit yourself as a "news" outlet.
Rick Torrance
1:45PM AUG 22ND 2013
I'm tired of the same old freedom stealing, corrupt, lobbyists paid politicians you mentioned here. Why no mention of Adrian Wyllie for governor? Come on! Get out of the box!

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