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Nan Rich urges Florida Dems to look beyond Charlie Crist’s ‘style’ to her ‘substance’

by George Bennett | October 27th, 2013

A Nan Rich supporter displays her support while Rich speaks to Florida Democrats on Sunday.

LAKE BUENA VISTA — With former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist expected to launch a Democratic campaign for governor next week, Democratic rival Nan Rich urged party activists Sunday to look beyond Crist’s “style” and choose her “substance” in a 2014 primary.

Rich, a former state legislator from Broward County, has been running for governor for 18 months and is the only Democrat actively campaigning to unseat Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

But Crist, who became a Democrat less than a year ago and has been flirting with a candidacy for months, leads Rich in the polls and generated more buzz at this weekend’s gathering of 1,500 party activists from around the state. He’s expected to formally launch his campaign on Nov. 4.

“Rumor has it that Charlie Crist will be entering the race for governor again,” said Rich, who usually doesn’t mention Crist by name in her speeches.

“Now, I know that being a woman, a mom, and a grandmother probably gives me an unfair advantage over Charlie. But he does have a lot of experience running for statewide offices, so I’m not taking his candidacy lightly if he comes in.”

Rich continued: “Seriously, there’s no denying that Charlie Crist has a lot of style.

“But with many Floridians still out of work, with so many seniors on waiting lists for care, with so many children’s lives negligently lost by a broken social services system, with so much at stake in how we manage our environmental resources – I truly believe this election will be more about substance than style – and I believe it must be about substance to get Florida back on the right track.”

Rich has raised only $215,924 so far, which is less than some state Senate candidates and a fraction of the more than $16 million in the coffers of the committee backing Scott. Crist is expected to easily outdistance Rich in fundraising, but she urged Democrats to look beyond that.

“I stand before you today not on platitudes or piles of money – I stand here on principles. Democratic principles,” Rich said.

Rich suggested her underdog candidacy is like Barack Obama‘s presidential bid when he was considered a long shot to defeat Hillary Clinton.

“Six years ago, in October of 2007, few people thought a majority of Florida’s voters would vote for an unknown African American candidate for President. But a year later we did,” said Rich.

Rich told Democrats that she, too, is a barrier-breaking candidate.

“I made history when I was elected the first woman leader of the Senate Democrats, and with your support – and your vote — history will be made again when I’m elected the first woman governor of Florida,” Rich said.

31 Responses to “Nan Rich urges Florida Dems to look beyond Charlie Crist’s ‘style’ to her ‘substance’”

  1. Keith Says:

    OK, here’s my plan. First, Nan runs as Crists partner. They crush Ricky, proving that there are rational people in Florida and that moderates are popular.

    Then, Hillary Clinton picks Crist as her VP candidate, guaranteeing Florida and the 2016 Presidential election. Ms Rich goes on to become Floridas most popular and respected Governor in a generation and Crist move to the national stage.

    I know, political genius. I can’t help myself.

  2. robin murphy Says:

    Anyone but Scott please! Florida has been the laughing stock long enough.

  3. Michael Says:

    The democratic party of Florida really loves white males. In the Senate race against Rubio they abandoned the party’s African American candidate to support white Charlie Crist and now the power brokers are fighting against having a female candidate (Rich) run for office and have thrown their support behind white male Charlie Crist.

    Someone needs to tell the democratic party of Florida that you don’t have to be a white male to run for office.

  4. timtopper Says:

    no, but you need to run a candidate who can defeat slick rick. Charley can, rich can’t.

  5. MimiB Says:

    While I have respect for Ms. Rich, Florida must run a Democratic candidate that can win against Republican Tea Party extremist and idiot incumbent Scott… The millions donated by Tea Party outsiders [Koch brothers et al] may mean Charlie Crist is the more potentially successful candidate. He’s not such a bad one, after all, looking at his moderate record.

    I wish the most substantial candidate would win, but in today’s political climate, wishful thinking is worthless and I cannot imagine Ms. Rich being successful, no matter what her qualifications. She’s just not well known and understated substance doesn’t mean much to voters. Sad, but realistic.

  6. milly Says:

    Good Luck Nan-entity, Being from the cesspool known as Broward county, You don’t stand a chance!!!

  7. No Hypocrist Says:

    With Nan, we have a solid history of voting for, and fighting for, Democratic principles, values and policy. With Crist we have a chameleon who changes to look like whatever he thinks will win him an election. Most people didn’t fall for that in the last election, when he was an independent, and I don’t believe they will this time, either.

  8. rev henry wester Says:

    christ was a man for florida, and he did not take side when we needed help.

  9. Progressive Engineer Says:

    Nan Rich is my choice all the way. She is an amazing woman. What she has accomplished both personally and professionally is staggering. What she has accomplished for Floridians over the years through her leadership in Tallahassee is amazing. Money and style i.e. tanning salon skin, do not influence me. I look for substance.

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