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Florida Governor (Democrat): Charlie Crist vs. Nan Rich

Governor | Democrat

The Democratic primary for governor pits former Gov. Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg against former state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston. Crist has the clear edge when it comes to fundraising. He has raised more than $14.2 million through his campaign and political committee, compared with Rich's total of about $548,000. Still, Crist — a former Republican who became an independent and then a Democrat — could have a difficult time winning over progressive Democrats, many of whom support Rich. The winner of the Aug. 26 primary will face Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the November general election.


Charlie Crist, 58


Attorney, Morgan & Morgan personal injury law firm

Nan Rich, 72


Former legislator

Experience Florida governor, 2007-11; Florida attorney general, 2003-07; Florida commissioner of education, 2001-03; deputy secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, 1998-2000; Florida Senate, 1992-98 Florida Senate, 2004-12; Senate minority leader, 2010-12; Florida House of Representatives, 2000-04; national president of the National Council of Jewish Women, 1996-99
Education Florida State University, 1978; Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Ala., 1981 Attended the University of Florida (1959-1961)
What is your position on same-sex marriage Crist was governor when Florida passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2008. But he has since called the ban "discriminatory" and filed a legal brief in support of marriage equality. Rich strongly supports marriage equality. While serving in the state senate, she sponsored proposals to let same-sex couples adopt children. She also pushed for domestic partnership rights.
What is your position on legalizing medical marijuana? Crist supports a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana statewide. The ballot initiative is being funded by his employer, trial attorney and Democratic donor John Morgan.



Rich supports the ballot initiative that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida, as well as the new law legalizing the strain known as Charlotte's Web.
Should the minimum wage be increased? Crist has said he will raise the minimum wage if he wins the November election. He was silent on the issue when he ran for governor in 2006.



Rich has said she is "fully committed" to raising the minimum wage from $7.93 an hour to $10.10 an hour.
What is your position on school vouchers? As a Republican governor, Crist signed legislation expanding Florida's school voucher program. Since becoming a Democrat, he has distanced himself from the controversial program, saying, "I am not comfortable doing anything further with vouchers until we have funded public education at the levels that are necessary." Crist has also said he would like to "ensure that corporations receive the same tax incentives for investing in Florida's public schools as they do for investing in private schools." Rich is a longtime opponent of the school voucher program. She says the program, which provides private-school scholarships to children from low-income families, drains money from public school systems. She has also raised questions about accountability.
What kind of tax cuts do you support? Crist's campaign website says he supports tax cuts for middle-class families, as well as "incentives to help homegrown Florida small businesses grow the economy from the middle class out." Rich is not pushing for tax cuts. She has said Florida must first provide adequate funding for services such as education and care for the elderly.
Assets Crist lists $1.2 million in assets on his financial disclosure forms, including stocks, bonds, bank accounts and a 25-foot boat. Rich's assets include a home in Weston ($527,000), an apartment in Tallahassee ($138,000) and marketable securities and money markets ($320,000).
Liabilities None Mortgage
Income Last year, Crist made $297,000 from Morgan & Morgan, $183,000 in consulting fees from the St. Joe Co., $125,000 for a book about leaving the Republican Party and $50,000 in consulting fees from Coastal Construction Group. Rich receives about $12,000 annually in Social Security benefits. She earns secondary income from her retirement account and General Electric and Starbucks stock.
Personal Married to businesswoman Carole Crist (formerly Rome) Married to David Rich; four children, three grandchildren


About the job: The governor is the state's most influential elected official, overseeing state agencies and appointing judges to the courts and thousands of appointees to state boards. The governor signs death warrants, serves as commander in chief of the state's military forces and has line-item veto power over spending decisions by the Legislature. The annual salary is $130,273.

Florida Governor (Democrat): Charlie Crist vs. Nan Rich 08/14/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 4:19pm]
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