Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink did not have an opponent in the Democratic primary for governor until the last minute. Then Brian Moore, the perennial little-known candidate from Spring Hill, qualified for the ballot. Sink remains the only credible Democratic candidate and awaits the outcome of the hotly contested Republican primary.
Sink, 62, won her first campaign for public office in 2006, four years after her husband, Democrat Bill McBride, lost his bid to unseat Republican Gov. Jeb Bush. In a state where Republicans controlled the political dialogue, her moderate politics, experience as a retired bank executive and no-nonsense style was cause for optimism among Democrats. She is the party's only statewide elected official besides U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
As CFO, Sink has gained a reputation as a thoughtful and moderate public servant whose instincts on policy are usually in step with most Floridians — including banning nearshore drilling off Florida, protecting seniors from financial fraud, improving oversight of the state pension's investments and reducing the state's financial risk from hurricanes. But she occasionally can falter on details and often appears uncomfortable in the spotlight. This gubernatorial campaign gives her a chance to correct both of those impressions.
Moore, 67, is an idealist and habitual office seeker who has been largely invisible this cycle. His most recent bids were as a socialist for president in 2008; as an independent for U.S. Senate in 2006; and as a Democrat for Congress in 2004.
After the primary, expect Sink's campaign to kick into gear and her campaign issues to be more fully debated. In the Democratic primary for governor, the Times recommends Alex Sink.