Look Over Your Shoulder, Charlie, Nan Has Her Own Campaign Sluggers

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: January 24, 2014 3:55 AM
Nan Rich

Nan Rich

In their rush to expose the heavyweights who jumped aboard Charlie Crist's gubernatorial campaign, mainstream media in general are looking right past the team of sluggers Nan Rich has quietly assembled.

"Not all of Obama's election team are helping Charlie," said Rich. "I've got a few of my own."

Rich, Crist's rival in the Democratic primary, has been a declared gubernatorial candidate for nearly two years, and despite low poll numbers, she is convinced she still has a shot.

"I've got people who are committed to the principles of the Democratic Party on my team, who worked to re-elect the president at the grassroots level, one voter at a time. They know how to get the job done.

"I have a great team," she told Sunshine State News.

Ironically, Rich was praising her team at about the same time Thursday that Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times was writing about Charlie Crist's "incredibly shrinking campaign." In his story, Smith concluded this: "Most everybody in Florida politics expected Charlie Crist to run for governor as a Democrat at least six months ago. It's hard to explain how at this point he could still be putting together a campaign staff." 

Meanwhile, here are some of the team stars for Nan Rich, the candidate so many predicted would be out of the race by now:

Jackie de Carvalho, the Obama campaign’s deputy state coordinator for Florida, is running Rich’s field program. De Carvalho knows Florida, especially Democrat-rich South Florida; knows where the votes are buried, and, says Rich, "Jackie was outstanding, impressive in helping to deliver Florida to the president in 2012. My campaign is all grassroots, which makes a good field director so important."

Nan Rich

Nan Rich: "I have a great team."

Heavy-hitter Sterling Clifford is a communications consultant for Rich's campaign. Clifford isn't used to losing. He was campaign spokesman for former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon in 2008, the same for California Gov. Jerry Brown in 2010, and then communications director for state of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's campaign in 2012. "I'm not in Florida all the time," Clifford told Sunshine State News on Thursday. "But I'm there a lot and my presence in Florida will increase as the campaign goes on."

Rich calls Patricia Ireland "a powerhouse" at campaign events -- a celebrity and a presence who draws Democratic women like a magnet. Ireland served as president of the National Organization for Women from 1991 to 2001, and she published an autobiography, "What Women Want," in 1996. "Everybody knows who she is wherever we go. Patricia is a perfect reflection of my positions. She and (Palm Beach County Tax Collector) Anne Gannon are our celebrities, they're volunteers and they're wonderful."

Said Rich, "Our campaign team is small but mighty."

When asked if she's thinking about getting out of the race, Rich admits she's been encouraged to fold her tent, but then she laughs. "Charlie Crist went from a 12-point lead over Rick Scott to a 2-point lead. With the margin of error, they're even.

"I think ultimately I can beat Charlie -- I'm a true Democrat," she said. "Democrats know my positions and know they can trust me to stay true to them. This is what I keep trying to tell the trial lawyers. And in November I have a better chance of beating Scott than Charlie does."

Dean Keller, a Rich supporter in Tallahassee, told SSN, "The trouble with Charlie is, every time he states a position, it's the opposite of where he was last time he was governor. He's got to defend that kind of moral dishonesty over and over again for the next how many months? Too many months. In the end, Democrats won't want to come out for Crist. But Nan doesn't have that kind of handicap."

Keller said Crist "tripped over his own feet" earlier this week. As soon as he said he wanted to challenge the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, reporters -- some of them, anyway -- were all over it like ants on a picnic table, reporting that Charlie Crist endorsed the ban and personally signed the petition to put it on the ballot when he was a Republican governor.

"Charlie is already a mess," Keller said. "Nan has her act together."

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423.

Comments (12)

Patti Lynn
7:08PM JAN 25TH 2014
NAN RICH for Governor!!! We've had enough duplicity in Florida government in the last 12 years. NAN won't be changing her position based on her seeking an even higher office...we can't say the same for Chain Gang Charlie. NAN's position on EVERY Democratic valiue has never wavered. If, in fact, Florida Democrats want a DEMOCRATIC governor...NAN RICH is the ONLY Democratic candidate.
Claudette Pelletier
12:06AM JAN 25TH 2014
I love it! She really does have her act together and is consistent!
Patricia Farley
9:44PM JAN 24TH 2014
With Nan Rich you can look at her voting record and know what her priorities are--solid Democratic values. She has supported the same issues for years. She knows Tallahassee, which is saying something. She has had to work with those people for years and she managed to do a good job of it.
Lydia Lowell-Sherman
5:05PM JAN 24TH 2014
My family has supported Nan from the beginning. I'm tired of watching the state of Florida selling the Governor's office to the highest bidder. I'm tired od those elected officials who sell our government to their buddies. With Nan I have a life-long Democrat who shares my values and who does not flip flop every day. She is one smart lady, and knows the issues inside and out. She is the Governor Florida needs. It's time for the first woman governor!
Marilyn Mordes, RN; Founder Dem Women's Club in MC
3:31PM JAN 24TH 2014
Nan Rich is just "so together"... no baggage... always has been a Democrat... boundless energy...always moving forward... so intelligent.
You can ask her any question on any Florida issue/concern, and she quickly responds with vital info & knowledge. AND she actually listens when one is speaking to her...her passion, for ALL the Florida residents, is quite obvious. It's really time for a change up there...time for a lady to sit in the Governor's chair. It has been seen over & over throughout years, "When Women Vote, Democrats Win"... her grassroots movement is growing by the hour.
1:41PM JAN 24TH 2014
Rich is at least a real democrat. As for Charlie, I wonder how it will take for democrat party in florida realize that Charlie is in it for Charlie and no one else?
12:17PM JAN 24TH 2014
Nan Rich would and hopefully will make a fine Governor for Florida. Would bring decency and honesty with concern for the folks back to the office .
1:06PM JAN 24TH 2014
"decency and honesty" are not terms assignable to politicians.
It would be funny...
10:03AM JAN 24TH 2014
Wouldn't it be funny if Crist was beaten twice by the long-shot? Nan Rich, the Rubio of the D's!
1:07PM JAN 24TH 2014
It's almost an insult that Crist is even running again. He's old news. We need new blood in there versus these professional politicians.

I won't vote for him, that's for sure.
10:32AM JAN 25TH 2014
But then you'd never vote for Nan either . . . if you're even registered to vote in Florida (based on previous statements) . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Good observation
10:25AM JAN 24TH 2014
I hadn't thought of that. Now that I think about it, grassroots Marco Rubio vs Establishment R Crist and now Grassroots Nan Rich vs Establishment D Crist. I don't think Nan Rich is Marco Rubio though. Then again, I dont understand democratic minds. Who knows. Charlie seems to be imploding. No one wants to work for him.

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