Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jim Davis has a favorite for governor, and it's not Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist is working to win over members of his new party but he hasn't persuaded Jim Davis, the 2006 Democratic candidate for governor, who says Crist would be judged on his record — "and he's got a record."

Davis is among those urging Sen. Bill Nelson to enter the 2014 gubernatorial race.

"I served with Sen. Nelson for years and I think he'd be a very strong, effective governor," Davis said in an interview. "I think Charlie's going to run but I assume if Sen. Nelson runs he would be the nominee, and I think he would win."

Asked if Democrats could accept Crist, Davis said: "I think he's going to be held to a high standard. When you run, you're judged on your record and he's got a record."

"The real question is, how does (a candidate) stack up against Gov. (Rick) Scott?" Davis continued. "That's going to be a huge battle. It's going to be a campaign that Charlie Crist has never faced before. Sen. Nelson has faced a campaign like that. He just went through one. They threw everything in the world at him."

Davis said he likes Nelson's approach to the job.

"The thing Bill Nelson does is he works the entire state. He goes to Ocala. He goes to Chipley. He's in Fort Walton Beach. He's in Fort Myers. He never stops. They know him. It's not just the election cycle.

"I remember talking to him after he'd been through the Panhandle talking about the Affordable Care Act. You can imagine that was pretty tough. He said he stood there in front of people and they asked him the tough questions. He had some good answers and some answers they didn't like, but they appreciated that. People don't forget that."

But will Nelson commit? While he's considering the race, signs point to him sticking to the Senate.

"It would be an immense personal sacrifice for him," Davis said. "And it is a long shot. He is still recovering from the last campaign."

Spoken like a mom

Jeb Bush spoke Wednesday at the Mackinac Policy Conference in Michigan, touching on education policy, immigration and whether he'll run for president in 2016.

"My thinking is to not think about it for a year," Bush said. "I'm 60 … life teaches you need to make decisions in the right time."

Asked about his mother's recent declaration that the country has had "enough Bushes," the former Florida governor laughed and said, "Look, all I can say is we all have mothers."

Bush made an appeal for school choice, comparing it to the benefits of being able to go to Publix in Coral Gables and choose between milks: whole, skim, strawberry, almond and soy. He expressed optimism on immigration reform: "It is not the American way to keep people in the shadows. And he urged the GOP to move past an agenda that opposes everything: "We've got to be for things again."

An immigration divide

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Friday showed that a whopping 71 percent of voters nationally think Democrats and Republicans in Congress will not be able to work together to achieve immigration reform.

That's troubling for Sen. Marco Rubio, who helped write the bill being debated. Opponents last week sharpened their attacks on him. One group paid for a billboard on I-75 in Ocala blasting the "Rubio-Obama Amnesty." Another, Californians for Population Stabilization, put ads on Florida TV that feature Rubio and say the legislation, if approved, would flood the state with job-taking immigrants. Proponents dismissed the actions of fringe groups opposed to any reforms, but it shows the heat surrounding the issue, while lower than the last debate in 2007, remains.

At the same time, reform proponents are fighting back. The Evangelical Immigration Table, a group of pastors nationally, is putting up a billboard near Rubio's Jacksonville office that reads "Praying for immigrants. Praying for congress" and has a link to a website. What's more, the group is running an ad on Christian radio featuring the Rev. Dr. David Uth, senior pastor at First Baptist Orlando.

That's a lot of candles

More than a hundred of Talbot (Sandy) D'Alemberte's friends dropped by the rotunda at the Florida State University law school Thursday to help him celebrate his 80th birthday at a party arranged by his wife and law partner, Patsy Palmer. The courtly and ever-smiling D'Alemberte wore one of his signature bow ties and greeted well-wishers for more than an hour as guests sampled cake, ice cream, iced tea and lemonade.

"Sandy is one of the finest human beings I have ever known," said former Gov. Reubin Askew, who wore a garnet and gold necktie and worked the crowd accompanied by his wife, Donna Lou. "He was always motivated for the right reasons."

Among those who stopped by were two former Supreme Court justices, Major Harding and Stephen Grimes.

Times staff writer Steve Bousquet contributed to this week's Buzz.

Winner of the week

Nan Rich. The Democratic candidate for governor has struggled for attention but got some last week from an unlikely source: the Republican Party of Florida, which jumped on reports Rich was being denied a speaking opportunity at an upcoming Democratic dinner. In news releases and on Twitter (#FreeNanRich) the GOP, even if not for altruistic reasons, gave Rich a shot of publicity and showed that not all Democrats are ready to crown Charlie Crist.

Loser of the week

Allison Tant. Five minutes! That's all Rich wanted to speak, but Tant, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, said no. Her reason may be valid — the annual dinner turned into a marathon — but the shutout emboldened Tant's critics both in the party and the GOP.

Jim Davis has a favorite for governor, and it's not Charlie Crist 06/01/13 [Last modified: Saturday, June 1, 2013 7:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Told not to look, Donald Trump looks at the solar eclipse


    Of course he looked.

    Monday's solar eclipse — life-giving, eye-threatening, ostensibly apolitical — summoned the nation's First Viewer to the Truman Balcony of the White House around 2:38 p.m. Eastern time.

    The executive metaphor came quickly.

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump view the solar eclipse from the Truman balcony of the White House, in Washington, Aug. 21, 2017. [Al Drago | New York Times]
  2. Secret Service says it will run out of money to protect Trump and his family Sept. 30


    WASHINGTON — The Secret Service said Monday that it has enough money to cover the cost of protecting President Donald Trump and his family through the end of September, but after that the agency will hit a federally mandated cap on salaries and overtime unless Congress intervenes.

    Secret service agents walk with President Donald Trump after a ceremony to welcome the 2016 NCAA Football National Champions the Clemson Tigers on the South Lawn of the White House on June 12, 2017. [Olivier Douliery | Sipa USA via TNS]
  3. After fraught debate, Trump to disclose new Afghanistan plan


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will unveil his updated Afghanistan policy Monday night in a rare, prime-time address to a nation that broadly shares his pessimism about American involvement in the 16-year conflict. Although he may send a few thousand more troops, there are no signs of a major shift in …

    U.S. soldiers patrol the perimeter of a weapons cache near the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2003. Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents as strong as ever and the nation's future precarious. Facing a quagmire, President Donald Trump on Monday will outline his strategy for a country that has historically snared great powers and defied easy solutions.  [Associated Press (2003)]
  4. Trial begins for man accused of threatening to kill Tampa federal judge


    TAMPA — Jason Jerome Springer was in jail awaiting trial on a firearms charge when he heard inmates talking about a case that had made the news.

    His attorney said Jason Jerome Springer, 39, just talked, and there was “no true threat.”

  5. Editorial: Tampa Electric customers should not pay for utility's fatal misjudgments


    There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers. Monetary considerations will not begin to …

    LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers.