Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Alex Sink introduces running mate Rod Smith

Rod Smith and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink rally together for the first time Thursday in West Palm Beach.

Associated Press

Rod Smith and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink rally together for the first time Thursday in West Palm Beach.

WEST PALM BEACH — Democrat Alex Sink's first opportunity to showcase running mate Rod Smith was both a cheerleading session for the party ticket and target practice on the bickering Republicans.

Appearing Thursday for the first time since she announced Smith would be her lieutenant governor choice, Sink criticized her potential opponents — Republicans Bill McCollum and Rick Scott — for "bickering" and "personal attacks."

"I'm fed up with the lack of leadership, partisanship and absence of direction," said Sink, echoing a television ad she has been running since Sunday.

Sink told a roomful of loyal Democrats at a brief event at the Palm Beach Police Benevolent Association Hall in West Palm Beach that given the challenges that face Florida, "There is no time for partisanship, special interests or personal agendas."

Smith, a former Gainesville state senator and former Alachua County state attorney, gave the more fiery and colorful speech. He joked about how his oldest son was busy explaining to judges why his father wouldn't be in the courthouse for the next few weeks or months — which prompted Sink to interrupt with "years."

Smith talked about his youth in Palm Beach County. He attended an elementary school in Boynton Beach that has since been turned into a museum. He said his father and uncles farmed the land, and he worked on a farm while attending junior college.

Smith lost the 2006 primary for governor to Jim Davis, who ultimately lost to Charlie Crist.

"I will never forget the last time I had a chance to run — this county embraced me," Smith said, a reference to his victory over Davis in that county. "I want Palm Beach County to be ground zero" of this campaign, he said.

Smith talked up the need to improve the economy and grow jobs in Florida and vowed to work in the lieutenant governor's job full time.

Several Democratic politicians praised Sink's choice of Smith.

Said former Attorney General Bob Butterworth: "I cannot think of a better person in the state of Florida. He knows the state."

State Rep. Joe Gibbons of Hallandale Beach said he worked on Smith's campaign for governor. He said his only concern is Smith's work as a trial lawyer. But he thinks Sink's business background will balance the ticket.

The campaign also touted an endorsement from Davis, a former U.S. representative from Tampa. Davis told the Times/Herald that Sink's pick of Smith was a good choice and predicted that Sink has a much better shot at the Governor's Mansion than he did, especially given the GOP infighting this primary season.

"No one knows better than me what a good campaigner he is," Davis said of Smith. "He's just got a lot of energy and knows the state."

Sink's pick is considered safe and strategic — Smith has name recognition, statewide campaign experience and the ability to work with Republicans.

Times/Herald staff writer John Frank contributed to this report.

Alex Sink introduces running mate Rod Smith 08/19/10 [Last modified: Thursday, August 19, 2010 11:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

    Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor hits a home run Tuesday during the third inning of Game 3 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs. [Associated Press]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

    Wengay Newton, Florida House of Representatives (in front, in center), talks as a panelist to a packed room during a community forum on "Reclaiming our Youth: Is Juvenile Justice a Reality?" at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening (10/17/17). The event was presented by the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association. Community leaders discussed the ongoing auto theft epidemic among Pinellas youth.
  5. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse

    Politics

    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …