19 May 2005

Gallagher enters the race for governor

Hoping that his fourth try will be a winner, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher officially entered the race for governor yesterday. He joins Attorney General Charlie Crist in the quest for the Republican nomination. Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings is also expected to join them. On the Democratic side, Congressman Jim Davis (D-Tampa), former Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox, and state Senator Rod Smith (D-Gainesville) are all vying for their party's nomination.

Gallagher has begun the race to the far right. He launched his campaign by setting out his vision which includes ending "judges legislating from the bench," more tax cuts, and a constitutional amendment opposing gay marriage. He announced his candidacy with his wife and son by his side, stressing family values and thereby differentiating himself from his two GOP opponents who are both unmarried. Gallagher's strategy of running to the right is quite pragmatic and may be the only way he can beat a somewhat popular Charlie Crist in the Republican primary. Crist is seen by most to be an extremely liberal attorney general, continuing much of the legacy of his predecessor, Democrat Bob Butterworth. Additionally, Crist is plagued with rumors that he is gay and is still unpopular with religious conservatives because he refused to become involved in the Terri Schiao saga, so Gallagher embracing the conservative base of the party may be a winning prescription.

Gallagher is also expected to be the biggest fundraiser in the party. As the chief executive at the Florida Department of Financial Services, he oversees the operations of the state's insurance, accounting, financial, and banking companies, as well as other big money industries. The governor's race in the Sunshine State is well on its way to be the most expensive race in Florida's history, and Gallagher is expected to lead the way.

Governor Jeb Bush is prohibited from running for reelection due to term limits.

Check back to FloridapolitiX.com in the coming days for an analysis of the Republican and Democratic races for governor.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those that think Charlie Crist is a shoe-in, like Mike Thomas at the Orlando Sentinel, are fooling themselves. Keep your eyes on Gallagher. He's built a moderate base of supporters in the GOP over the years, and by running to the right, he only expands his base. Plus, the fact that he is going to race so much money it will be sickening is very important - especially in this state. I can honestly see Gallagher winning the GOP nomination.

12:14:00 PM  

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