10 June 2005

Sorry Charlie! Gallagher wins major endorsements

The buzz in political circles is that Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist is unbeatable in the GOP primary. Apparently no one told Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher or three former prominent Republican party officials.

Former GOP chairmen Al Cardenas of Miami, Tom Slade of Jacksonville, and Van Poole of Tallahassee officially endorsed Gallagher for governor on Thursday. Recent polls showing Crist and Gallagher running neck-and-neck. 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.

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gallagher must have called in all the chits he gathered from the time he gave McCollum a free pass by dropping out of the 2000 U.S. Senate race.

This announcement makes me think that Toni Jennings is not going to run for governor. But, because she's doing the classic Lt. Gov. upping the profile the year before the gubernatorial election thing, I think she's running for something.

I'd bet she will either decide to ruln for CFO or the old double-cross is coming on Harris and Jennings will run for U.S. Senate.

Why do I think that? Take a look at this story entitled "GOP split on primary with Harris" that appeared in the June 10 Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Here's how the story opens:

Florida's Republican Party leader says with Katherine Harris in the U.S. Senate race, the state's other Republicans are unlikely to jump in, but national party officials and even Gov. Jeb Bush don't believe that's an absolute.

Bush said it all depends on who has the fortitude to run against the popular Republican and former Florida secretary of state.

"I don't know if there will be a primary or not," Bush said during a press conference in Tallahassee on Wednesday.

Bush wished Harris well, but sidestepped questions about whether she is the best candidate for the party.

"That's not my business," he said. "It's not a question of that. It's a question of who's got the guts to run. That separates everybody. She's running, and the Republican Party will support the Republican nominee."


1:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that Harris is getting out just like I don't think Gallagher would get out. Gallagher took a dive in 2000 and now it is his time (or so he believes.) Harris wanted to run in 2004 and would be a US Senator now if she had, but Karl Rove asked her not to and she didn't. She is owed this and I don't think she'll get out.

I do think that Crist's victory lap and congratulations have been premature. Gallagher has a very good shot in this race. As CFO, every major industry does business in front of him so they'll donate money. He'll outraise everybody. Plus, I think the gay thing with Crist is going to be a huge issue. Just look at how Gallagher starts every announcement by mention his wife and kids. There is definitely a whisper campaign against Crist. Will Crist drop out like Foley in the GOP primary for Senate in 2004? Probably not, but it will get ugly.

7:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Harris will get out of the Senate race. I think that Jennings might jump in.

That would give the GOP two women candidiates -- Harris from the Sarasota (Tampa Bay) area and Jennings from Orlando.

I know if Jennings ran, my wife (who is a progressive) would be open to voting for Jennings.

9:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennings won't run. The Republicans will keep it clear.

I agree that Jennings would be bad news for Dems though. She would probably win pretty big.

10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Robert C. said...

I simply don't see Jennings running for a "lesser" office, but if she were making a move for governor, it's too late now; she should have began her run before Crist and Gallagher started full speed ahead.

I could see her making a deal to be on the ticket with Crist or Gallagher to stay in the number two seat. Maybe...an Orlando area congressional seat.

7:47:00 AM  
Blogger Swamp Pundette said...

There aren't really any Orlando districts coming open, though. Feeney is an up and comer, Mica is sitting pretty as Aviation subcommittee chair, so she'd pretty much have to take on Ric Keller in a primary.

I think she or Glenda Hood would be great to take on Katherine Harris, if we were looking for a primary duel.

3:07:00 PM  
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