Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nan Rich details why she's the better Democrat for Florida governor's race

Former state Sen. Nan Rich is working hard to get out the message about her gubernatorial campaign. Namely, that despite what Charlie Crist says, she's the only true liberal in the race.

The Democrat from Weston visited the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Monday to discuss her platform, and mentioned more than a few times that she thinks the former Republican governor is not the person for the job.

"Your record of what you've done is a good indicator of what you're going to do," Rich said, pointing out her own record of supporting public education, civil liberties, LGBT rights and child welfare advocacy. She also discussed a long record of favoring stricter gun laws, opposing school vouchers and pushing for a higher minimum wage. She said Crist's biggest weakness is his indefinable position on those topics, giving her an advantage with the state's left-leaning voters.

"I think that I can mobilize the Democratic base better than he can," she said, adding that her "strong grass roots network" is something neither Crist nor Gov. Rick Scott enjoy. "You all can just go down his list of issues and he has changed his position on every single issue."

Rich, a former Senate minority leader who spent 12 years in the Legislature, said she has a history of working with opposition leaders, something she said Crist can't do as well as she can, citing his switch from Republican to Independent to Democrat.

"(Crist) has a large number of people over there that are not too fond of him right now and I think would be less likely to do something for him than they would be for me," she said. She said Crist's unwillingness to debate her is "because he doesn't want to discuss all these different issues."

A champion of public education, Rich noted she is not confident in the new Florida Standards based on Common Core because she has heard complaints they are not "developmentally appropriate" for students. She also is wary of new standardized tests being developed using the benchmarks.

"The test should be nationally normed so that we can see how our children are doing against the 49 other states, and I think it's a waste, otherwise, of hundreds of millions of dollars," she said. She also said that although she doesn't oppose charter schools, those schools need to be held accountable for their performance in a much stricter way than they are now.

Even as Florida continues to dig out of the Great Recession, Rich said she thought there were better ways to address the problems still facing the state.

"I think the investment has to be in education and in health care, because during the recession, those are the two areas that didn't lose jobs," she said. "We actually created jobs in those areas."

Scott has done the state a disservice by turning away federal dollars based on his tea party ideology, she said. The governor wasted billions in transportation, Medicaid and child abuse prevention funding that could have helped the state grow.

"As governor, I would look for every dollar that we deserve," she said. "We pay taxes, we're a donor state. We need to get every bit of it back here for Floridians, for whatever purpose the money was intended."

Nan Rich details why she's the better Democrat for Florida governor's race 07/14/14 [Last modified: Monday, July 14, 2014 8:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Update: Scientology cancels planned mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology planned to film a mock FBI raid on a downtown building Monday afternoon, but the actors and cameras never showed up to the location disclosed to the city.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]
  2. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Human Interest

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida inspired new group focused on improving how elections are run


    A new group run by two lawyers and veteran Democratic operatives specializing in voter protection efforts is launching a pilot program in Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to work with local elections officials to improve the voting process. Access Democracy, run by …

    Access Democracy wants to improve voter participation and how elections are run
  4. Super Nintendo is coming back to stores, and there's even a new (old) game


    If the overwhelming success of last year's NES Classic is any indication, you may want to get your hands on Nintendo's newly-announced Super NES Classic as soon as it becomes available this fall.

    Super Nintendo plans to release the Super NES Classic Edition.
  5. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame (w/photo gallery)


    Dave Andreychuk said Monday began "business as usual."

    Dave Andreychuk battles Calgary's Andrew Ference during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.