Sink swings through Big Bend
Democrat Alex Sink brought her governor's campaign to Taylor County this morning, hoping to repeat the success she had in North Florida during her 2006 race for CFO. In that race, Sink came within just a few points of beating her Republican opponent in this conservative belt of the state. She outperformed gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis by 20 percent that year and her 48.3 percent of the vote in North Florida was 6 points better than Barack Obama two years later.
Sink's campaign trumpeted this kind of success earlier this week when they pitched reporters on a two-day campaign swing through North Florida. Two days turned into one: stops in Taylor, Lafayette, Gilchrist, Levy and Citrus counties, the last of Florida's 67 counties for Sink to visit on this campaign. But Sink, who has repeatedly criticized Republican Rick Scott for refusing to sit down with newspaper editorial boards, invited newspaper reporters to just three of the five stops.
The first event was at Joyce's Main Street Cafe in Perry (located in the Google map above) where about 70 people turned out, including Taylor County Commissioner Rudy Taylor. Taylor was a victim of the anti-establishment mood of the electorate this year. The 76-year-old retiree was ousted in a Democratic primary this summer. "I'm not really confident, but very hopeful," Taylor said about Sink's chances against Scott. "I think she'll win, but I wouldn't put any money on it."
Sink delivered an eight-minute speech heavy on rural charm - she talked about growing up on a farm and mentioned the Taylor County High Bulldogs undefeated season and their big game tonight against Union County. Sink limited her shots at Scott, saying he's been deposed more times than he's voted in Florida. She directed the audience to a campaign web site that features video of one of Scott's depositions, which she called "alarming." (Our story about Scott's depositions is here and our video is here.)
Sink promised to return to Taylor County after the election to assist with economic development. From her speech:
"Do you know what my dream is for my two children? It's that they call me up - because Burt and Lexie both chose to go out of state for college - that they call me up and they say - and this is my dream for your children, too - they call me up and they say, 'Mom, I'm coming back to Florida because I've got a great job lined up.' We want to bring your children back right here to Taylor County"