Scott, Crist, State Cabinet Officials Qualify for the Ballot

By: Kevin Derby and Allison Nielsen | Posted: June 17, 2014 3:55 AM
Adrian Wyllie, Rick Scott, Charlie Crist

Adrian Wyllie, Rick Scott, Charlie Crist

Monday marked the first day of qualifying for statewide office and some of the biggest names in Florida politics made the ballot as they look toward the August primaries and the general election in November. 

After meeting with teachers earlier in the day, former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott despite spending most of his political life as a Republican, filed his paperwork on Monday.

Crist was accompanied by Leon County teacher Sheria Griffin on Monday when he qualified for the ballot. “As governor, I'll be fighting for teachers like her!” Crist insisted.

Former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich, Crist’s leading primary opponent, is expected to qualify on Tuesday.

On the Republican side, Scott also qualified and released his assets and called for Crist to do the same.

“For the purposes of qualifying as a candidate for re-election, I have disclosed my financial assets today,” Scott said. “However, before that and immediately after filing, these assets were under the management of an independent financial professional in a blind trust in order to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

“In order to provide even more transparency to the public, my wife Ann and I also voluntarily released the last three years of our tax returns,” Scott added. “I hope that Charlie Crist will follow our lead and take the same steps today by releasing his and his spouse’s tax returns. His immediate public production of these tax returns for 2011 and 2012 is important to provide the people of Florida the transparency they deserve.”   

Also on the Republican side, both Yinka Abosede Adeshina of Tallahassee and Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder of Sarasota each paid the $7,800 qualifying fee to put their names on the primary ballot against Scott.

A pharmacist by training, Adeshina calls for providing health care to all Floridians by 2017, improving diversification in the workforce and reducing unemployment across the state.

The founder of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Florida, Cuevas-Neunder was named “Business Woman of the Year" in 2005 by the Republican National Committee. Cuevas-Neunder’s platform calls for "restoring God, the state, and strong family values" to Florida, which is "a true melting pot of cultures, languages, and religions." During the 2012 presidential campaign, Cuevas-Neunder enjoyed a little limelight, asking the Republican presidential candidates their thoughts on Puerto Rican statehood.

However, Cuevas-Neunder has failed in her efforts to seek higher office. She tried to take on Jeb Bush in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 1998 but failed to make the ballot, being disqualified for not having a running mate. Cuevas-Neunder also failed in her efforts to win a seat on the Sarasota County School Board and an open Florida House seat, placing fourth in a four-candidate primary field.

Libertarian Adrian Wyllie also qualified for the ballot in the gubernatorial race on Monday. So did write-in candidate Keith Stegath.

In the three state Cabinet races, the Republican incumbents -- Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater and Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam -- qualified for the ballot on Monday.

“It is an honor to serve Florida’s more than 19 million residents as state attorney general,” said Bondi on Monday. “Thanks to the strong partnerships and hard work of agencies and people across our state, Florida’s crime rates are at record lows – this is an important aspect of making Florida the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Bondi has drawn two Democratic opponents -- former DCF Secretary George Sheldon and House Minority Leader Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale -- while Tallahassee attorney Bill Wohlsifer is challenging her as a Libertarian. Businessman William Rankin is running against Atwater as a Democrat. Thad Hamilton,  a Democrat who sat on the Broward Soil and Water Conservation District board of supervisors, is Putnam’s only opponent so far.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com. Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.

Comments (10)

Keith Stegath
3:47PM JUN 22ND 2014
I am running as a write-in candidate for Governor. I am not fond of politics or politicians but I can no longer sit idle while the caliber of candidates declines, and those get elected ruin a perfectly good coudrag our nation down.
Julia S.
1:21PM JUN 20TH 2014
I couldn't agree more with Stephen I. Go Pam!
William Dail
8:47AM JUN 18TH 2014
Crist & Scott will be too busy flinging mud at each other because they can't find any mud to fling at Wyllie the only clean candidate in this race!
Keith Stegath
3:42PM JUN 22ND 2014
Checkout Keith Stegath as a write-in for Governor at: www_DOT_fla-gov_DOT_ org.
Stephen l.
12:25AM JUN 18TH 2014
The Libertarians should just quit while they can. I am a proud supporter of Pam Bondi, along with the majority of Florida. Why should we choose Wohlsifer when he can't even spell properly or use correct grammar. A person with his lack of education and experience should not be running. His whole campaign is fake. He was part of the republican party not too long ago.
10:21PM JUN 18TH 2014
Stephen I. My spelling and grammar are my strongest points. If you found otherwise, I was probably using one finger on a cell phone while someone else was driving. I have over 10,000 reads on Scribd of pleadings I filed and my works have been used as writing samples in legal writing training. I received the Book Award in Advanced Legal Writing in law school and I have been repeatedly published statewide and nationally, including publication this year in the most expensive law journal available in the U.S. Judges have completed my writing has refreshing, and the best they have seen. That said, legal publications and quick responses to FB messages merit different time allocations. Please show me the examples of poor writing that you are referring to.
Stephen l.
7:19PM JUN 19TH 2014
"Judges have completed my writing has refreshing, and the best they have seen." Case in point, Mr. Wohlsifer. Your writing needs work, as does the majority of your campaign platform. If your spelling and grammar are your strongest points, then I'm afraid what might happen to Florida if you were to be elected. But then again, we don't really have to worry about that.
Steven Dorries
10:07PM JUN 18TH 2014
Have you read his campaign website? It includes his resume, it is fairly impressive.

Where are the grammatical mistakes on his website or any of his public statements?
Are people with JDs that graduated cum laude really uneducated?
How much experience does one need, exactly, before they are qualified in your opinion?
What does a previous political affiliation matter to you?

The majority of the people of Florida don't know who Pam Bondi is, if they did they wouldn't be supporters of her.
3:21PM JUN 17TH 2014
Well, apparently Crist's teacher wasn't an English instructor. He needs a grammar lesson. His sentence should end in "she." Did he say he would get rid of common core... didn't think so.

Steven Lovell
9:58AM JUN 17TH 2014
I'm glad to see Adrian Wyllie's picture at the top of this article, but the media could do better than a one-liner about him. We're tired of the two-party scam.

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