Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Politics

The Buzz: Alex Sink still unsure whether to challenge Rick Scott in 2014

Alex Sink, the former chief financial officer and 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, had expected to decide by Sept. 1 whether to run for governor again. It may take a little longer.

"I'm anxious to make a decision," she told The Buzz on Tuesday. "It's a matter of weeks."

Sink, 65, just returned from a family vacation in the Bahamas, and is now heading off on a "girls trip" with friends to Montana.

She sounds genuinely undecided. As she mentions family and personal considerations, it's easy to conclude she's leaning against a run, which is what many suspect.

"My kids are not enthusiastic about it, and my father is definitely not enthusiastic about it," the ex-banker said, referring to her father, Kester Sink of Mount Airy, N.C., who is 90 years old and whose health is often on the minds of Sink and her sister.

But then the conversation turns to Gov. Rick Scott, and Sink sounds primed for another campaign.

"It's going to come down to a very personal decision, and the thing that keeps me interested is that every single day I read another headline about something else this governor has done that is ridiculous and stupid and not in the best interest of Floridians," she said. "I can't tell you how angry I am that the people of Florida have to endure this failed leadership."

Apologizing for "ranting," she refers to a recent Tampa Bay Times story about Scott approving $10 million in state funding for a rowing center in Sarasota after vetoing state funding for the center.

"What does it take to get his support? $210K in contributions."

"And today's news," she continued, "is that 20 children have died in the last four months. Twenty children! Twenty children under the care of DCF (the Department of Children and Families) have died, and (Scott) hasn't said peep about it? He just doesn't understand leadership."

Her anger and disgust following the news of Florida "is what keeps me interested in running, along with all the people who are calling and encouraging me."

Democrat already out of race

We suspect Florida Democratic Party chairwoman Allison Tant is not having a great week, having wrapped her arms around an obscure candidate for chief financial officer, Allie Braswell, who dropped out Monday after acknowledging he had multiple bankruptcies. "Exactly the kind of leader we need in Tallahassee," Tant had gushed last week.

Braswell, a native of Oviedo, is president and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League.

The Florida Times-Union reported that he filed for bankruptcy three times since 1995, most recently in 2008.

He declared his candidacy Thursday, vowing to be a "fiscal watchdog who will hold our government and politicians accountable."

On Monday, Braswell issued a statement in which he apologized to his supporters as he threw in the towel on challenging Republican CFO Jeff Atwater in 2014.

His abrupt exit is yet another setback for the Florida Democratic Party as it struggles to become more competitive with Republicans at a time when four statewide offices will be up for grabs next year.

The Florida GOP wasted no time having fun with the news.

Florida GOP Chairman Lenny Curry blasted Tant in a statement saying, "To back a candidate in charge of Florida's finances without vetting that candidate's handling of his personal finances shows either a high level of incompetence or a new level of desperation."

And then on rpof.org, the party posted a list of "8 Things That Lasted Longer Than Allie Braswell's Campaign for CFO," including Anthony Weiner's mayoral campaign, time Charlie Crist spent as an "independent" and Barack Obama's vacation.

Steve Bousquet contributed to this report.

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