Democrat Charlie Crist says he can't raise nearly as much money as Republican Gov. Rick Scott, but he can close the gap thanks to a big subsidy from Florida taxpayers.
Crist soon will get his first infusion of millions in campaign cash under the state's public campaign financing program, created to help low-budget candidates counter big-money opponents as long as they abide by a self-imposed spending cap of about $25 million.
Candidates for governor and three Cabinet offices who agree to limit spending by their own campaigns are eligible for matching money. The state matches contributions of $250 or less from Florida residents, and Crist has far more small donors than Scott.
Crist says more than 30,000 people have donated $100 or less to his campaign. Larger donations are also matched up to $250 each.
"I think it's a good idea, because the public needs to be involved in our government, our democracy," Crist said at a campaign stop in Tampa on Saturday.