Jeff Greene's lost Republican years
U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene "grew up as a Democrat," but said the conservative climate of Harvard Business School, the oil crisis of the late 1970s and the battered Carter administration drew him to the GOP in 1982.
"For a year of my life, I was a Republican, and then I quickly got back to what I really believed in," he said Tuesday of his long-ago bid for Congress in Southern California. Asked what he learned from the failed race, Greene said, "I learned that I'm a Democrat."
The lesson took another decade to sink in, according to election records that show he remained a Republican until 1992, when he moved from Los Angeles to Malibu and dropped his party affiliation. He didn't become a Democrat until 2008, when he registered to vote from his new home in Palm Beach.
"Whether I was a Republican or Democrat, who cares?" he said at a candidate forum Thursday in Sarasota.
Democratic voters will care, countered Greene's rival, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami. "His Democratic credentials are an inch deep," Meek said Thursday. "I'm the true Democrat in this race."