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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Divorced Candidates



If you want Florida’s next governor to have no messy divorce or short-lived marriage in his past, your pickings are slim. Of the four major candidates for governor, only Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa has never been divorced. And while failed marriages are hardly unusual in this era of baby boomer politicians, most of Florida’s gubernatorial candidates face sticky personal questions about their prior marriages:

***Republican Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, 62, campaigning as the most socially conservative, family-values candidate, this week acknowledged committing adultery in his first marriage after court documents from his divorce 27 years ago were revealed.
***Democratic state Sen. Rod Smith, 56, in every campaign he’s run, has had to explain why courts in the late 1980s ordered him to pay nearly $18,000 in unpaid child support and found him in contempt for being $92 short on one child support check.
***Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist, 49, was forced to deny he’s gay, after a woman at a public forum pointedly asked him about his six-month marriage in 1979.

In an era when the Republican Party has dominated Florida politics in part by selling its version of family values, how much might these messy marriages matter at the ballot box? Story is here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:04pm]


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