Rod Smith rules out '14 gov run; predicts Al Lawson upset over Southerland
Scratch one name off the list of potential Democratic candidates for governor in 2014: Florida Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith.
In a Political Connections interview airing today on Bay News 9, the former prosecutor and state senator from Alachua ruled out another bid for governor — he lost the 2006 primary to Jim Davis — because his priority is his 25-year-old son, Dillon, who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
"That's not happening," said Smith, who previously had left the door open. "I can't foresee a circumstance given the things going on in my life that you're aware of with the illness of my son. That's where my focus is, and that's where my focus is going to remain for awhile."
Other prospective Democratic challengers to Gov. Rick Scott include Alex Sink; state Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston; Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; and former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jimmy Morales.
And there's the chance former Gov. Charlie Crist will run as a Democrat.
Smith predicts at least one big upset this election year: Former Democratic state Sen. Al Lawson of Tallahassee, he said, will unseat U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, in north Florida.
Political Connections airs at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.