Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Crist not looking like Senate run is in doubt

If Charlie Crist isn't planning to run for the Senate in 2010, he certainly seems to relish encouraging people to think so. The Crist-O-Meter moves toward the Senate this week based on several factors:

• The governor stoked the Sen. Crist speculation at a legislative black caucus dinner recently when he shook a few hands with Democratic Senate leader Al Lawson of Tallahassee, who is running for Congress.

" 'See you in Washington,' he said. I can't think of what that means other than that he's going to run for Senate," Lawson recounted of his chat with Crist. "We're not supposed to be in Washington together in the next few months. But if we both get elected, we'll be there. I don't see how I could have taken this any other way. It sounds like he's running."

• The state GOP has shed several more full-time positions, and Republicans say the party realizes it may have serious fundraising constraints with Crist expected to be raising money for his own federal campaign, rather than focusing on unlimited "soft money" contributions to the state party.

• U.S. Rep Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, was widely expected to run for the open Senate seat until he took his name out of the mix and endorsed Crist for either senator or governor. Crist used to work for Mack's father, the former senator, and remains close to the family.

• Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, noting that Crist seems poised to announce for the Senate, announced he is ready to run for governor if that happens.

Crist, who says he'll announce his plans after the legislative session ends in May, said he'd heard of Bronson's interest in succeeding him: "Charlie's a friend and a super guy. He's been, in my humble opinion, a great commissioner of agriculture. And (in) little more than a month, we'll see."

Iorio's vision

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio on what Florida needs from state leaders:

"We truly need to start with a blank sheet of paper in terms of our method of collecting revenues in this state. Obviously the current system doesn't work well, and so with every session what they try to do is patch it with some idea — we'll add another dollar to cigarettes. Well, how about people who drink beer? … They try these little nickel and dime approaches. This is one of the largest, most active growth states in the country. You've got to have a generalized policy of taxation that deals with boom and bust."

Check her out on Political Connections today at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Bay News 9.

Enviro agriculture commissioner?

Eric Draper, Audubon of Florida's lobbyist, deputy director and policy director, confirms that he may run as a Democrat for commissioner of agriculture and consumer services. Draper says he's focused on Audubon's agenda during the legislative session at this point and will make a decision in the next two months.

Other Democrats are in the mix for the Cabinet post? Former state Rep. Rick Minton has already filed, and there's buzz about state Rep. Debbie Boyd, and former Suwanee County Commissioner Randy Hatch.

Times/Herald Tallahassee staff writers Steve Bousquet, Marc Caputo and Alex Leary contributed to this week's Buzz.

of the week

State Sen. Paula Dockery. It's mainly through the sheer doggedness and determination of the Lakeland Republican that approval for the 61.5-mile Sunrail commuter rail project near Orlando looks anything but certain more than halfway through the legislative session. Up against legions of frustrated supporters, Dockery has been relentless in raising questions about the deal.

of the week

State Rep. Ron Saunders, D-Key West. The fellow in line to be House Democratic leader in 2010 looked more than a little politically tone deaf last week when he summoned House Democrats to a private, closed-door meeting to discuss fundraising, candidate recruitment, and budget and tax policy. "As you know, mixing fundraising with votes on legislation is wholly improper and calls into question the integrity of the process," Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, wrote in an e-mail objecting to the meeting.

Crist not looking like Senate run is in doubt 04/11/09 [Last modified: Sunday, April 12, 2009 12:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Get under the covers with Tom Perrotta's 'Mrs. Fletcher'


    If Tom Perrotta's new novel, Mrs. Fletcher, had a moral, it might be this: Thinking you can learn how to have a great sex life by watching porn is like thinking you can learn to be a great driver by playing Grand Theft Auto.

  2. Hillsborough approves miniscule cut to property tax rate, give $2 million to bus system


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County Commissioners on Thursday approved a decrease in the property tax rate for next year that will save most homeowners a little pocket change.

    Passengers are seen near a bus at Westfield-Brandon Transit Center Thursday, July 13 in Brandon. On Thursday, commissioners approved a $2 million one-time payment for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  3. 5 things to know before Tampa Bay Comic Con this weekend


    Tampa Bay Comic Con returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, expected to attract more than 55,000 like-minded nerds mingling with cosplayers, celebrities, artists and sellers of comic books and collectibles.

    Surrounded by the bridesmaids dressed as Disney princesses and groomsmen dressed as Marvel superheroes, Gwen Walter of Venice, Fla., kisses her husband, Shawn Walter, also of Venice, after their wedding ceremony on day two of the 2016 Tampa Bay Comic Con in the Tampa Convention Center on August 6, 2016. The pair got engaged at Megacon 2015 and were married wearing "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed costumes. Two different couples were married in Room 24 on the second day of the Tampa Bay Comic Con 2016. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times
  4. Baker releases endorsement of 40 Midtown pastors


    Rick Baker announced Thursday that he has the support of 40 Midtown pastors and religious leaders, evidence he says of his "overwhelming support" in a crucial part of the city.

  5. A Taste of Tampa Bay: Noble Crust in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    Noble Crust opened on north 4th Street in St. Petersburg, an area light on ambitious restaurants, in 2015. Chef Rob Reinsmith and his team are serving up a blend of southern cuisine and Italian-style cooking, including the restaurant's signature fried chicken. The Noble Crust brand recently expanded beyond its St. …

    Pizza at Noble Crust. [Photo by MONICA HERNDON | TIMES]