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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hurricane Politics



Republican gubernatorial candidates Tom Gallagher and Charlie Crist were set to face off for the first time on television tonight. Then Tropical Storm Alberto blew in to cancel the party. "The treasurer's chief concern right now is to the safety of all Floridians, including campaign staff and volunteers,'' declared the release from Gallagher's campaign, where the headquarters was to remain open for "essential day-to-day operations only."

Meanwhile, Alberto forced Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis to cancel a property insurance-related campaign event in the Panhandle scheduled for today. Rival Democrat Rod Smith had to miss a Bill Clinton fundraiser in Orlando Monday, and Smith's campaign manager audibly groaned when asked about the e-mail supporters had sent inviting Tampa Bay residents to meet Smith in Ybor City next week: "Hurricane Rod returns to Tampa!"

Get ready for the trickiest dance of the political season - the hurricane two-step. It's the tough new reality of campaigning in Florida, where too-busy hurricane seasons are becoming the norm. Campaign appearances and fundraising can come to a sudden halt and candidates tread a fine line to avoid being seen as exploiting a natural disaster. More here.

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


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