State Sen. Paula Dockery near decision on pursuing GOP nomination for governor
State Sen. Paula Dockery of Lakeland says her decision on whether to seek the Republican nomination for governor is about three weeks away. She says she's still considering all of the implications, but in an interview she sounded like she's raring to hit the campaign trail against Attorney General Bill McCollum.
Dockery says Floridians are hungry for leaders (like her) who are viewed as being "fighters" and who are outside the party establishment. She is positioning herself as the outsider fighting the status quo.
"I'm out there a lot, and I think people are generally unhappy with the economy. They're unhappy with the direction Florida is going in," Dockery said. "I will tell you that I see an anti-establishment feeling out there, and a hunger for something other than politics as usual. And as you see more and more scandals unfolding, as you see more and more questionable activity, people want something different, and somebody to believe in who has shown that they fight for the people."
Dockery's fierce and successful opposition to the SunRail commuter rail earned her the scorn of some of her Senate colleagues, but made her a hero to those who viewed the project as a wasteful, unnecessary boondoggle. She's also (obviously) a woman battling a male-dominated political insider culture.
Statistical footnote: Dockery the politician has 2,095 supporters on her Facebook page. McCollum the politician has 1,239 as of Thursday, plus 176 friends on the McCollum for governor page.