The governor’s race is barreling forward, but one key aspect of Democrat Charlie Crist's campaign remains a mystery.
Who will be his No. 2?
If Crist wins the primary on Aug. 26 as is expected, he will have just nine days to designate a lieutenant governor as his running mate. That gives him less than two months to vet candidates and make his choice.
The lieutenant governor job in Florida comes with no official responsibilities, except to take the place of a governor who is incapacitated. Incumbent Gov. Rick Scott left the position open for eight months after former Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned in 2013.
But Crist’s pick could make a difference in the November election, even while most Floridians will vote the top of the ticket.
Observers say Crist, who held elected office as a Republican before changing parties last year, needs to choose a running mate who appeals to the Democratic base. If not, Florida may be headed for a repeat of the 2010 election, when low voter turnout in left-leaning South Florida derailed Democrat Alex Sink's bid to become governor.
"Charlie Crist's biggest concern is finding someone who is going to bring the Democratic faithful to the polls," University of Florida political science professor Daniel Smith said.
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