Former state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston, a Democratic candidate for governor in 2014, made the case for her candidacy Wednesday in a visit to the annual Associated Press planning session on the 22nd floor of the state Capitol.
Rich, who was termed out of the Senate in 2012, focused her criticism on Republican Gov. Rick Scott for turning away billions of dollars in high-speed rail money, making it harder to vote, attacking abortion rights and resisting Medicaid expansion under the federal health care law.
"I'm definitely a fed-up Floridian who is tired of seeing state government abdicate its responsibility to improve the lives of the citizens of our state," Rich said.
She parodied Scott's campaign slogan, "Let's Get to Work," saying he and Republican legislators "worked to make it harder for people to vote. They worked to slash support for public education. They worked to restrict women's reproductive rights. They worked to block Floridians from the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. None of these initiatives created even one job."
In her travel around the state, Rich said she has seen "a palpable sense of frustration with Tallahassee. " She has raised about $81,000 and has a political fund, Citizens for a Progressive Florida, that has raised $133,450. Scott spent more than $70 million of his money in a successful pursuit of the governorship in 2010.
Rich has virtually no statewide name recognition, but she said history is on her side: She said Reubin Askew, Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles were all "little known state senators" when they first embarked on their successful campaigns for statewide office.
- Steve Bousquet