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Dem Lori Parrish: I might endorse Crist

Broward Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, one of the county's longest serving Democrats, said today she might throw her support behind Gov. Charlie Crist in his independent bid for U.S. Senate if he vetoes the bill that requires women who want an abortion to view an ultrasound first.

"If he vetoes that bad abortion bill I would certainly consider it," Parrish told Naked Politics. Parrish was quoted in Post on Politics earlier today.

This wouldn't be the first time Parrish had supported someone not on her side of the aisle: she said she supported Jim Scott, a Republican legislator and county commissioner for many years. But there's a difference with Scott: Parrish said they had been friends for decades.

As for Democratic contender U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek: "not every Democrat loves Meek. I don't have to love every Democrat. I haven't taken a position. I have two core values you can't step on: I believe in a woman's absolute right to choose and I believe in equal rights."

Parrish, a former school board member, said she was also pleased that Crist vetoed Senate Bill 6 which was fought by the teachers' unions.

Parrish has close ties to powerbrokers who fund campaigns so should she choose to support Crist that could boost his contributions in Broward. But the question is will other elected Dems in Broward join her?

Broward County Commissioner Al Jones, who recently switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party in an effort to win his own race, is staying out of the U.S. Senate race for now.

“I appreciate the vote of confidence by Governor Crist to serve on the Broward County Commission.  I supported the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 6, signing of the Seminole Gaming Compact, and garnering federal stimulus dollars for the State of Florida,'' Jones said in a written statement today.  "As a Democrat, I also have seen the hard work and determination of Congressman Meek.  Today, I am not endorsing any candidate in the U.S. Senate race since I’m engaged in an election, but I will make a decision before November.”

The majority of Broward county commissioners and several of the county's legislators and city officials have endorsed Meek, according to his campaign website.

Democratic state Sen. Nan Rich said she doesn't believe other elected Dems will support Crist if he vetoes the bill though it will help him with independent voters, she said.

"A lot of Democrats know Kendrick Meek is prochoice and also woiuld not have ever supported Senate Bill 6 so I'm not sure a lot of people make the leap just because Charlie vetoes it,'' she said. 

County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, whose name does not appear on Meek's endorsement list on his website, said she has endorsed the Congressman and won't change her mind if Crist vetos the abortion bill. When asked why she simply said: "I'm a Democrat."