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Charlie Crist to fundraise in Fort Lauderdale tonight. But will he debate Nan Rich in Broward?


Charlie Crist is expected at a fundraiser at Greenspoon Marder, former state Sen. Steve Geller’s law firm, in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Nothing has been announced yet for Crist to speak to any Broward groups publicly, but Geller, who is advising Crist, told the Miami Herald that that should happen in the “next 30 days.”

Broward College and Broward Days, a state legislative advocacy group, reached out to Crist and Democratic opponent Nan Rich, a former Weston senator, to invite them to a debate in Broward.

“I never got a response from Crist,” said lawyer Michael Colodny, chair of Broward Days. “I spoke to some of his political representatives who said they would carry the word to the campaign and I’ve heard nothing since then. I heard from Rich’s people if Crist was agreeable they would get together and hopefully work out a format and some timing.”

Geller said he spoke to Colodny weeks ago “and told him that it’s way too early to be discussing if there will be debates, how many, and where. Let’s see who actually ends up filing before we discuss debates.”

Colodny, a partner at Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate, P.A in Fort Lauderdale, is a registered Republican and donor to GOP candidates. Colodny said he hosted a fundraiser for Crist when he ran as a Republican for governor in 2006.

One of his firm’s other name partners, Howard Talenfeld, was on the host committee for a Rich fundraiser in September.

Crist has taken some hits for running a quiet campaign so far. Broward will be crucial for any statewide Democratic candidate since it has the largest contingent of registered Democratic voters in the state.

In 2010, Democrat Alex Sink was criticized for not showing enough love to Broward early and often during the gubernatorial campaign -- and she narrowly lost to Republican Rick Scott when Broward produced a pathetic 41 percent turnout.