TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA) – The focus – November.
The race for governor of Florida is between former republican governor turned democrat Charlie Crist and current republican Governor Rick Scott. And the candidates wasted no time campaigning further during their primary election victory comments.
In his victory speech from Fort Lauderdale, Crist looked back on his first stint as governor.
“When I was governor, serving the public was never about right versus left. It was always about right versus wrong - that’s why I accepted billions of dollars in stimulus funding from a democratic president… Even as other republicans were turning it down… Because saving 20,000 teachers’ jobs was the right thing to do…” Crist said. He also added “When it comes to taking even a single step to make it a little easier for Florida’s families to pay the bills, raise their kids, save for retirement, Rick Scott has not been on our side. (crowd noise) Don’t boo, vote.”
Rick Scott issued a statement in lieu of a speech. He said, “The next few months are about talk versus action. That means Florida will have a choice between a governor who sent our state into a tailspin and a governor who gets results. Charlie Crist failed as governor, lost 830,000 jobs, and tried to run off to Washington – and now he wants his job back. We’ve come a long way in the last few years, but there’s plenty of work left to do. Let’s keep working."
The race will be the talk of state for the next two months. Local political leaders say it’ll be a tough race in a political battleground, but Pinellas County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Hanisee says he's ready for the next two months of the Charlie Crist campaign.
“No surprise that Charlie Crist won by such a large margin. I think it’s great that Nan Rich gave a very good speech. It’s very obvious after hearing Charlie’s speech the party’s gonna unite and gonna really go after the governor’s office in November,” Hanisee said.
He believes Pinellas will prove to be pivotal in the upcoming election.
Meantime, Pinellas Republican Party Chairman Michael Guju expects to see both a lot of Rick Scott and Charlie Crist in Pinellas County in the weeks to come.
“I think that Pinellas County is really the backbone of the I-4 corridor. We anchor one end of the I-4 corridor. We’re perhaps the most important county there is in the I-4 corridor, perhaps the state. We’re a swing county,” Guju said.
Guju says Scott has a tough competitor in Crist, but believes Scott will take Pinellas and the Bay area come November.
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