Alex Sink hopes to repeat success in North Florida
The Democratic ticket of Alex Sink and Rod Smith was joined Monday night in Marianna by the old guard of North Florida Democratic politics. Included in a crowd of about 200 were Bob Graham's longtime Lt. Gov. Wayne Mixson and former House Speaker James Harold Thompson. Former Attorney General Bob Butterworth also attended. Sink's husband, Bill McBride, the party's 2002 nominee, had planned to attend, too, but he didn't make the trip from Tallahassee.
Sink unwound the mic from the stand, saying she'd "do a little bit of a town hall here." But she didn't take any questions from the audience and did not speak to reporters after the event.
She spent the first four minutes of her 12-minute speech talking about Smith. She didn't mention any accomplishments from her four years as Florida's chief financial officer, but she did tell the crowd about how well she performed in North Florida during the 2006 election. She said she won the CFO's office largely by carrying the election from Pensacola to Jacksonville "by more than 40 percent."
"We need to further diversify our economy in North Florida," Sink said. "I'll be right back over here after the election to work with all of you to determine how we can attract more business, private business with good-paying jobs, to this beautiful swath of Florida we all love so well."
Today, Sink has a condo event in Pembroke Pines. Republican nominee Rick Scott is in Naples with Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The two have a pair of public events before a $10K/person fundraiser Pawlenty is hosting for Scott tonight.
While Sink talked about North Florida, Smith played the attack dog.
Ignoring his campaign's own attack ads, Smith said he wished the gubernatorial campaign had been more about a debate on issues. (We asked him about that later, and he said Scott threw the first punch: "There is punch and counter punch," Smith said.)
Smith zeroed in on the Medicare fraud Scott's former hospital company was fined for and slammed Scott for pleading the Fifth Amendment 75 times during a sworn deposition that was part of a lawsuit against Columbia/HCA.
"You can take the fifth all you want to, but you can’t be governor when you do," Smith said.