The final list from the Division of Elections is ready. A couple more surprises: Alex Sink will have a Democratic primary challenger: perennial candidate and former Socialist Party 2008 presidential candidate Brian Moore.
It's completes a no-good day for Sink, who saw Democrat Bud Chiles qualify as a nonpartisan candidate at the last minute and now must "compete" in a primary instead of sitting back and watching Rick Scott and Bill McCollum tear each other apart.
Also, U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam now faces a mysterious tea party challenger named Ira Chester, a 75-year-old registered Democrat who filed 30 minutes before the deadline in closely contested race that features Democrat Scott Maddox, a former Tallahassee mayor.
"Something rots in Tallahassee: a max out donor to Maddox for Governor who is 75 years old and a lifelong Democrat gets a burning desire to run for Ag commissioner at 11:30 the last day of qualifying as a tea party candidate?" said Putnam campaign manager Trey McCarley. "This is typical behavior by Scott Maddox but the people deserve the truth about what's going on here."
Maddox qualified Thursday with former Democratic challenger Randy Hatch at his side, who leveled strong attacks on Putnam for being beholden to farming special interests. Hatch, who traveled the state (1,800 miles) riding on his tractor, decided not to run to avoid a messy primary.