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Will she or won't she? Alex Sink wavers on governor's race

Alex Sink, otherwise known as Hamlet from Hillsborough, is still grappling with whether to run for governor again in 2014.

"I go back and forth," said the former state chief financial officer, who had planned to make a decision by Sept. 1 but now says it will be by Oct. 25, when the state Democratic Party kicks off its state convention. "I really don't know."

Most Florida politicos doubt Sink will ultimately run because there have been few signs of earnest preparation for a grueling race against Gov. Rick Scott, but we haven't found anyone who knows for sure.

Televised debate

The Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9 will host a live televised debate Oct. 15 in the race for St. Petersburg mayor. Mayor Bill Foster and his challenger, Rick Kriseman, will participate in "A Conversation With the Candidates" at the Palladium Theater.

The debate will air on Bay News 9 from 7 to 8 p.m., and be moderated by Times political editor Adam C. Smith and Bay News 9 anchor Al Ruechel. Audience tickets to the debate will be available in early October at the Palladium Theater box office.

If you want to suggest a question for the candidates, email asmith@tampabay.com.

Bachmann's mess

Nancy Watkins, the fastidious campaign finance guru from Tampa who has helped countless state and national Republican candidates avoid running afoul of federal and state campaign laws, served as Michele Bachmann's campaign treasurer in 2012. Now Watkins has been hired to clean up Bachmann's congressional and political action committees.

The Hill reports that Bachmann, facing a federal grand jury probe, a potential House ethics investigation and a possible inquiry from the Federal Election Commission over questionable finance activities by those committees, recently hired Watkins to be treasurer of the committees.

"She is a fixer, in terms of coming in and cleaning up the mess that other people left behind," Brett Kappel, a campaign finance lawyer told the Hill. He called Watkins a "total straight arrow" who has been asked by other troubled GOP campaign committees to "clean up the books."

Ducking questions

The Republicans vying to succeed maverick Republican Mike Fasano appear on Political Connections on Bay News 9 today at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., talking about their priorities, as well as their views on Fasano and Scott. Actually, only James Mathieu and Jeromy Harding appear. Bill Gunter, whom the GOP House leadership has anointed, apparently feels pretty confident because he did not respond to multiple invitations to appear. Fasano weighed in on Twitter after hearing about Gunter avoiding Political Connections: "Yet the front runner has time to schmooze with lobbyists in Tallahassee has no time to speak to voters in Pasco."

Quote of the week

"Hillary and I come from different political parties, and we disagree about lots of things, but we agree on the wisdom of the American people — especially those in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina." That's Jeb Bush last week presenting the National Constitution Center's Liberty Medal to fellow 2016 presidential prospect Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Steve Bousquet and Alex Leary contributed to this week's Buzz.

Winner of the week

Justin Sayfie. The lobbyist/news aggregator put together what we hear was a top-notch debut of the Sayfie Summit, a sort of Florida-focused version of the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland.

Losers of the week

Pam Bondi. Showing extraordinary hubris and/or hypocrisy, the attorney general decided she would postpone an execution rather than inconvenience donors planning on attending her re-election fundraiser the same day.

Rick Scott's Department of Health. Apparently it's time to scrap the agency's official mission — "To protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida" — since it refuses to let federal Obamacare "navigators" into DOH offices to help eligible Floridians obtain health insurance.

Will she or won't she? Alex Sink wavers on governor's race 09/14/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 14, 2013 8:37pm]
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