Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Charlie Crist 'not even thinking' about debating Nan Rich

Democratic newcomer Charlie Crist says he has no plans to debate his leading rival, Nan Rich, in a party primary as they both run for governor.

"I'm not even thinking about that right now, to be honest with you," Crist told reporters Tuesday night outside a Greenspoon Marder law firm fundraiser.

"I am focused on doing everything I can to help the people of Florida," he said. "And this is not really a race about candidates. This is a race about the people of our state."

Reached by phone, Rich — a longtime Democrat and former party leader in the state Senate from Weston — took issue with Crist's stance.

"I'm an issues person," Rich said. "I'm a policy person. To me, to have a dialogue and a debate back-and-forth about the issues is probably the most important thing that you can do to educate voters about where the candidates stand."

Most polls indicate Crist would soundly defeat Rich in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary.

Rich had only about $75,000 cash on hand in her campaign account as of the last reporting period that ended Dec. 31.

An announced candidate since early 2012, Rich has struggled to catch fire. She's little-known, doesn't have a large staff and doesn't always communicate campaign events or press statements with the media.

Broward College and Broward Days, a legislative advocacy group, had reached out to Rich and Crist to invite them to debate in the state's bluest county. Rich told organizers she'd be open to it; Crist's camp hasn't gotten back to them.

Asked if he had plans to accept the Broward debate invitation, Crist said, "I don't."

Mack won't run

Former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack will not seek his old congressional seat, vacated this week by Trey Radel.

"In the weeks, months and years ahead I will continue to advocate for our shared principles, not as a candidate or member of Congress," Mack said in a news release prepared by his office, "but rather as a private citizen."

Radel, 37, resigned Monday, facing a House ethics investigation, a growing group of primary challengers (former state Rep. Paige Kreegel and potential candidate state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto) and the steady drumbeat of a Republican establishment calling for him to step down. He recently completed rehab for cocaine and alcohol abuse, and pleaded guilty to cocaine-possession charges last year.

Speaking of the ethics investigation of former Rep. Radel, the House Ethics Committee said Wednesday that it dropped the case as his resignation Monday removed jurisdiction. It concludes the downfall of a political career that began only a year ago.

Alex Leary and Marc Caputo contributed.

Charlie Crist 'not even thinking' about debating Nan Rich 01/29/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 6:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida's 'Turtle God' is ailing. What happens to his remarkable collection of specimens?

    Wildlife

    OVIEDO — In a small town about five miles from the University of Central Florida there stands a two-story yellow house built in the 1920s. A modest sign mounted on the wall next to the front door says, "Chelonian Research Institute."

    The main room at the Chelonian Institute in Oviedo Florida. - Peter Pritchard sounds British but he's lived in Florida for five decades, running the Chelonian Institute in Oviedo Florida, which holds the world's largest collection of turtle specimens (some of them bones or shells, some of them live turtles or tortoises). Time magazine has declared him a hero of the planet and other turtle experts say he is to turtles what Dian Fossey was to gorillas. He's been instrumental in helping other species, too, including the Florida panther. He has traveled the world studying turtles.
  2. Regulator blasts Wells Fargo for deceptive auto insurance program

    Banking

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, 2017]
  3. Top 5 at Noon: Police hunt killer 'terrorizing' Seminole Heights; Land swap could help bring Rays to Tampa

    Blogs

    Here are the top stories on Tampabay.com this afternoon.

    Aerial photo of Ybor City centered around Centro Ybor and 7th Avenue. Hoping to assemble the land for a ballpark near Ybor City and the Channel District, Hillsborough County officials could government property with landowners there.
  4. McDonald's soft serve in Florida is made with handshakes and happy cows

    Consumer

    Floridians licked nine million McDonald's vanilla cones last year.

    Calves play with a rubber toy at the Milking R Dairy in Okeechobee, FL. Owners Sutton Rucks, Jr., and his wife Kris Rucks sell their milk to SouthEast Dairies cooperative, Edward Coryn of Dairy Mix in St. Petersburg buys it, transforms it into soft-serve ice cream base, and sells it to all the McDonald's. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  5. Florida football has become something to be endured, not enjoyed

    College

    The Jim McElwain era at Florida is something to be endured, not enjoyed.

    Florida Gators defensive lineman Khairi Clark (54) leaves the field after the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. The Florida Gators lost to the Texas A&M Aggies 17-16 MONICA HERNDON   |   Times
.