Florida Gubernatorial Candidates for Governor - Election Race 2014
Florida Governor Election RaceRick Scott (R)
Yinka Adeshina (R)
Vincent Angiolillo (R)
Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder (R)
Tim Devine (R)
Berthram Samuel (R)
Dr Joe Smith (R)
Charlie Crist (D)
Farid Khavari (D)
Monroe Lee (D)
Ryan Lipner (D)
Marcelle Martelly (D)
Nan Rich (D)
Jessica Stewart (D)
Atlee Yarrow (American Freedom)
Steve LaBianca (Libertarian)
John Wayne Smith (Libertarian)
Adrian Wyllie (Libertarian)
Rubin Anderson (Independent)
Kyle "KC" Gibson (Independent)
James Fraleigh (Independent)
Herman Giger (Independent)
Mark Griffis (Independent)
Jefferson Horwath (Independent)
Jeff Rabinowitz (Independent)
C.C. Reed (Independent)
Charles Tolbert (Independent)
Paul Murray (Write-In)
Florida Candidates for US Congress from FL
History of Florida. Information that every Florida Election Candidates for US Governor Should Know:
Florida, which joined the union as the 27th state in 1845, is nicknamed the Sunshine State and known for its balmy climate and natural beauty. Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who led the first European expedition to Florida in 1513, named the state in tribute to Spain's Easter celebration known as "Pascua Florida," or Feast of Flowers. During the first half of the 1800s, U.S. troops waged war with the region's Native American population. During the Civil War, Florida was the third state to secede from the Union. Beginning in the late 19th century, residents of Northern states flocked to Florida to escape harsh winters. In the 20th century, tourism became Florida's leading industry and remains so today, attracting millions of visitors annually. Florida is also known for its oranges and grapefruit, and some 80 percent of America's citrus is grown there.
Republicans Scramble to Save Governor in Florida Battleground
Gov. Rick Scott is preparing for a highly contentious race against former Gov. Charlie Crist.
The 2014 Florida governor's race is shaping up as one of the most consequential contests in the country, featuring two problematic candidates in a state President Obama won twice but where a Democrat hasn't been elected as governor in nearly two decades.
Gov. Rick Scott, a wealthy businessman with one of the lowest gubernatorial approval ratings in the country, will likely face former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-Democrat who inspires little enthusiasm from either party.
"It's a race that matters a lot. The governor of Florida is the person who drives the entire political discussion in the state," said Brian Ballard, a Republican lobbyist and Scott fundraiser. "If we're ever going to have a chance at winning the White House again, we're going to have to have a strong, muscular party, and you don't have that not being in power."
For Democrats, the stakes are equally high. The race is one of the Democratic Governors Association's top priorities. The governorship is a prize that has long eluded Florida Democrats-Florida hasn't elected a Democratic governor since 1994-and next year represents their best shot in some time. "Republicans want to hold on for dear life to the governor's mansion, and Democrats would like nothing more than to take it back," said University of South Florida political-science professor Susan MacManus.
In 2010, Scott spent more than $85 million, including $73 million of his own money, on his bid. Scott has already raised nearly $4.6 million for his reelection during the first three months of the year, and he could raise as much as $100 million, an amount Ballard has said the campaign will cost. Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry says he doesn't expect Scott to have to pour his own money into the campaign.
"We're always outspent in Florida, that's no question, but we don't need to match [Scott] dollar for dollar to win," says Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Arceneaux. "We're going to have enough money to reach out to our voters and turn them out."
Strategists from both parties say they expect their opponents to run negative campaigns. And there's plenty of fodder to do so.
Scott has one of the lowest approval ratings of any governor. A March Quinnipiac survey showed only 32 percent of voters said he deserved to be reelected. Thirty-six percent approved of the job he was doing (49 percent disapproved) and only 33 percent had a favorable opinion of him (46 percent had an unfavorable view). The poll showed Crist with a healthy lead over Scott, 50 to 34 percent.
"His numbers have never moved out of the near-death territory," says Danny Kanner, communications director for the Democratic Governors Association. "What we expect is he'll run a full character-assassination campaign against whoever the Democratic nominee is, because it's the only path for him to run on, but it won't work."
Part of the task Republicans have on their hands is to paint a fresh picture of Scott, portraying him as a governor who helped spur job growth. He is already touring the state, talking up his push for teacher pay raises and elimination of sales taxes on manufacturing equipment. "Before we get into talking about Charlie Crist, the governor is smart and will introduce himself in a very dignified and thoughtful way, and really lay out the solid messaging I've seen so far," said Ballard.
But much of that positive messaging is likely to be accompanied by an early dose of negative attacks against the former Florida governor and his record. Former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer, a onetime Crist ally who pleaded guilty this year to money laundering and theft, has made damaging accusations against Crist, who has denied them all. A senior Republican in Florida said such skeletons in the closet won't drive the campaign, but "clearly the connections between him and Greer deserve another look at the records."
"No one's drinking the Kool Aid over here. We all know it's going to be tough, and we know how formidable it's going to be, but we believe not only will we have a message of contrast that will win, we've got a chance in this state," said the senior GOP official.
Crist hasn't made his candidacy official yet, but Democrats expect him to run.
"[Crist has] got 100 percent name ID, and a strong fundraising base whenever he's ready for it. If you can be in the bulls-eye for 14 months rather than 18 months, what's the point?" said Democratic operative Steve Schale. "I do know that's very much a part of his thinking at this point. He's not feeling full pressure to get in this."
Crist will also have to win over skeptical Democrats, given his party switch was caused by his struggles against Marco Rubio in the 2010 GOP Senate primary. Questions about his core principles could undercut enthusiasm from the party faithful. In Democratic circles, there's still speculation over Sen. Bill Nelson or 2010 Democratic nominee Alex Sink running. Last month, Nelson, who just won reelection, said, "I have no intention of running." But national Democrats say he could still run.
"The fact that there's all this talk about Bill Nelson running is a signal that there's a significant portion of the Democratic Party that's uncomfortable with a Charlie Crist candidacy," said Florida GOP operative Justin Sayfie. "Typically when that happens, that reflects a lack of enthusiasm about your current choices."
Still, many establishment Democrats in Florida say the motivation to get Scott out of office will trump any reservations more partisan members of their party have about Crist's past as a Republican.
"They just want something other than Rick Scott as governor, and for Democrats, Gov. Crist is often remembered as the guy who stopped a bad education law," said Schale. "Certainly there's some angst among the chattering class and people like that, but you don't feel the same angst from actual voters."
Arceneaux said one of the party's biggest priorities is ensuring Democratic voters that don't regularly show up in non-presidential elections turn out in 2014. "We can't have the disengagement of our voters that happened in 2009 and 2010. We have to keep folks energized," he said.