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Why the Florida Democratic Party, and Charlie Crist, need Nan Rich

@MarcACaputo

The Florida Democratic Party knows it needs Nan Rich.

And, perhaps, so does former Gov. Charlie Crist, who could face her in next year’s Democratic primary for governor if he decides to run against her.

A long-shot for governor, Rich’s background is an inverse of Crist’s: a committed liberal and a longtime Democrat, but a virtual unknown. Rich, a former Democratic leader in the state Senate, represented Weston until 2012.

If Crist runs, which looks likely, the Republican-turned-independent-turned Democrat will have to face her in a 2014 primary where only registered Democrats can vote.

Democrats say that dynamic is a good thing because any candidate who matches up against Republican Gov. Rick Scott will have to be battle-tested.

Even if Crist ultimately wins the Democratic primary — which early polls suggest is highly likely — it’ll force him to prove his party bonafides. Rich’s candidacy, at the least, will force a discussion about what it means to be a Democrat in Florida.

And Rich plans to do just that as she appeals to the grassroots of the party.

“They want a true Democrat,” Rich said. “They want someone who has consistent core values and principles. They don’t see that in Charlie Crist.”

Crist demurred when it came time to talk about his future plans or running against Rich.

“I’m not much of a prognosticator,” Crist said. “I don’t know yet if I’ll run. But I’m getting closer everyday to making that decision.”

More here

Comments

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tony smith

Kendrick Meek was a lifetime liberal too! Florida is a moderate state. WE need to WIN, not to have ideological purity tests.

Clint Little

By turning to a lifetime Republican who now wants people to believe he's a Democrat? Good idea. Worked so well for Senator Specter.

Michelle

As Deval Patrick said last summer in his stirring speech at the DNC, its time for Democrats to grow a backbone. We can back a true Democrat like Rich and do without the incorrigible flip flopper, Charlie Crist. Its not a matter of ideology ... its a matter of having the strength of our convictions. The political trends in Florida are truly disturbing. We need a real change, not a superficial one.

DemLady

As of today. I see and also hear, a BIG movement across the state by females. The momentum is growing each day to get Ms Nan Rich in the governor's mansion. Many say, how refreshing for these particular voters to know she has "no baggage". The female Independent & the female Republican voter, are now showing significant interest towards this intelligent lady. Some ask, how is Charlie Crist going to win without the female votes????? There is not enough time now for him to reinevent himself before 2014. I have heard many comments that these Rich backing-ladies are fed up with old politics! They want a simple change in Florida. Some say it's long overdue. Remember the 'ole saying, When Women Vote, Democrats Win. This has been seen over & over historically.

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