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. The awkward photo of the Pope, Trump and first family that's taking the internet by storm

    Global Warming

    VATICAN CITY — On Wednesday, Pope Francis appeared to make his point with a gift.

    Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Wednesday.  [Evan Vucci/Pool via The New York Times]
  2. Tampa police say 41-year-old man shot and killed by ex-boss, investigation ongoing

    Crime

    TAMPA — A 41-year-old man was shot and killed by his former boss Wednesday morning outside the West Tampa auto body shop where they once worked together, according to Tampa police.

  3. Father and brother of alleged bomber detained in Libya

    World

    The father and younger brother of the man who British police say bombed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester have been detained in Libya, where anti-terror authorities said the brother confessed to knowing "all the details" of the attack plot.

    Hashim Ramadan Abedi appears inside the Tripoli-based Special Deterrent anti-terrorism force unit after his arrest on Tuesday for alleged links to the Islamic State extremist group. Abedi is the brother of Salman Abedi, who has been identified as the man behind the bombing that killed 22 people and wounded scores at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester. [Ahmed Bin Salman, Special Deterrent Force via AP]
  4. Marijuana extract Epidiolex helps some kids with epilepsy, study shows

    Health

    A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

    An employee checks a plant at LeafLine Labs, a medical marijuana production facility in Cottage Grove, Minn. [Associated Press (2015)]
  5. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    President Donald Trump held a press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House with members of the GOP on May 4 after the House passed legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act. [Cheriss May | Sipa USA via TNS]