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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist's lt gov: Val Demings? Bob Butterworth?



Forget the Lt. Gov. John Thrasher chatter. That was so October 2013.

Time to move on to Charlie Crist's choices. Former state Sen. Dan Gelber - smart, knows the Legislature, knows policy - is an obvious option, though he could also be a good pick for chief of staff.

We've heard two other intriguing names pop up this week.

First, Val Demings, the popular former Orlando police chief who narrowly lost her congressional race against Dan Webster in 2012 and is seen as a prospect for Orange County Mayor next year. Demings would bring another popular Interstate 4 figure to the ticket, could help energize African-Americans and women, and as a pistol-packing cop help appeal to some swing voters.

Second, Bob Butterworth, the former Democratic state attorney general who joined Crist on stage for his announcement last week and led then-Republican Gov. Crist's Department of Children and Families to overwhelmingly positive reviews. He remains popular in South Florida, would highlight Crist's history of bipartisanship, and signal competence in governing when so many of Scott's agencies have had major problems. Butterworth, 71, would face questions about his more recent private sector work.


[Last modified: Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:52pm]


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