No Surprises in Gubernatorial and Cabinet Qualifying
Around the State
The period to qualify for state office ended on Friday with no major surprises in the gubernatorial race or the state Cabinet races.
In the gubernatorial race, on the Republican side, Gov. Rick Scott will face two frequent candidates, pharmacist Yinka Adeshina and businesswoman Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder. In the Democratic gubernatorial primary, former Gov. Charlie Crist will face former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich. Adrian Wyllie will be the Libertarian nominee. Joe Allen, Glenn Burket and Farid Khavri qualified in the gubernatorial race with no party affiliation. Seven write-in candidates also qualified in the gubernatorial race.
Two Democratic candidates -- former DCF Secretary George Sheldon and House Minority Leader Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale -- qualified to take on Attorney General Pam Bondi. Tallahassee attorney Bill Wohlsifer will be the Libertarian nominee against Bondi.
Democrats failed to produce major candidates to challenge either state CFO Jeff Atwater or Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. Businessman William Rankin will be the Democratic nominee against Atwater while no other candidates qualified in the CFO race. Thad Hamilton, who served on the Broward Soil and Water Conservation District board of supervisors, will be the Democratic nominee against Putnam. A write-in candidate also qualified to run in the agriculture commissioner race.
The leaders of the two major parties in Florida had very different responses on Friday, with Republicans cheering their elected officials while Allison Tant, the chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, stayed out of her party’s primaries to fire away at Bondi.
“We are blessed to have such strong leaders like Gov. Scott, Attorney General Bondi, CFO Atwater and Commissioner Putnam,” said Leslie Dougher, the chairwoman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), on Friday. “Their commitment to job creation, economic growth, and the well-being of all Florida families is unprecedented.”
“For nearly four years, Pam Bondi has failed Floridians every step of the way,” Tant said on Friday. “From protecting big businesses over consumers to her bigoted stance against Hispanic and LGBT Floridians, Bondi has shown that she is completely out of step with the middle class. She has used her office as a platform to force a misguided tea party agenda on our state, putting her own political needs first. How else can she explain rescheduling an execution -- one of the most solemn duties of the attorney general’s office -- so she could attend a political fundraiser?
“Floridians are ready for an attorney general that stands up for the rights of all Floridians, and prioritizes the duties and dignity of the office over scoring political points for radical tea partiers," Tant added. “In November, I’m confident they’ll elect an attorney general to do just that.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.