The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Alex Sink spends Saturday getting out the teacher and black vote

30

October

With her polls showing her race a dead heat, and the airwaves crowded with all the ads voters can handle, Democrat Alex Sink spent Saturday trying to get out the vote from her base: educators and black voters in Orlando, Tallahassee and Miami.

Sink spoke to several hundred educators at a Florida Education Association conference in Orlando in the morning, just hours before Scott came into town for a viewing of  “Waiting for Superman,” with students who receive corporate vouchers for private school.

“I have to start out by saying one word, `Friends,’” Sink told the crowd, adding that she would be the first Florida governor in 12 years whose children attended public schools. "We cannot build a stronger economy without a stronger public education system.” The group, and it's national parent the National Education Association, steered $1.5 million to the Democratic Party, much of which helped her campaign.


Sink repeated her criticism of Scott, who headed the Columbia/HCA, the nation's largest hospital chain, before it paid $1.7 billion in fraud fines and settlements three years after he left. “If you believe that character and integrity and doing the right thing and getting rid of all this partisanship are important, are you coming with me,” she said.

Sink traveled in Orlando with U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, a New York Democrat, who urged Central Florida voters of Puerto Rican descent vote for Sink and other Democrats.

In the afternoon, Sink flew to Tallahassee to greet the tailgating crowds at the Florida A & M University homecoming game. Her campaign handed out “Rattlers for Sink” t-shirts in the parade and she circled the stadium, weaving her way through the parking lots and streets packed with food and craft vendors. 

Dressed in a large orange golf shirt, Sink was given royalty status. As she visited tents with music blaring over loud speakers, Rattler fans would turn off the music and let her speak. “So many people here have already voted – voting for me,’’ Sink said, beaming. “It’s pretty exciting. We started out in Orlando. We’re on our way back down to Miami and I feel a big, big momentum for this week in early voting and also for Tuesday. People are very committed and excited.” 

Before the game began, Sink headed to the 50-yard line, and handled the flip for the coin toss. The winner: Morgan State, the opposing team.

Sink then flew off to Miami, to finish the day at an NAACP rally.

[Last modified: Saturday, October 30, 2010 7:09pm]

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