Politics Unusual: Florida’s Statewide Primary is Tuesday, August 26

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CHARLIE CRIST TAKES ON NAN RICH: YES, THERE ARE TWO CHOICES IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY

Floridians go to the polls on August 26 for many state and local primary elections. The largest of those races is the primary challenge for governor. Incumbent governor Rick Scott will battle two unknowns in the Republican primary and will emerge as the victor. On the Democratic side, former governor Charlie Crist will be facing former State Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich.

Wait, Charlie Crist hasn’t sewn this up yet? The answer is no. He still has to take on Nan Rich — who has put up an impressive fight despite being outspent and ignored by many establishment figures and media outlets.

Many people threw their support behind Charlie Crist as soon as he decided he wanted to run for governor, back in November of last year. That all but doomed Rich’s candidacy from the get-go, not that you’d know it by talking to her — she is still traversing the state, meeting with voters and hearing their concerns.

South Floridians will know Nan Rich well; she has been a public servant for many years, serving the residents of Broward and Palm Beach Counties in the Florida House and later in the Florida Senate. She championed many LGBT-specific pieces of legislation during her time in Tallahassee, including a gay adoption bill (before that issue was settled by state courts).

However, her grassroots campaign failed to net her recognition statewide. At one point in her campaign, two-thirds of Florida Democrats knew nothing about her. Also, Charlie Crist has out-fundraised her at a phenomenal pace: he has netted 200 dollars to every dollar Rich has raised thus far.

Two big endorsements came in on August 8, and it surprised me to find out that one was for the underdog. SAVE in Miami endorsed Charlie Crist for governor (this echoed a similar vote of confidence earlier this summer from Equality Florida). Later that same day, I received a press release from the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance, that based upon her strong pro-LGBT voting record, they would be endorsing Nan Rich. That is the first endorsement Nan Rich has received from an LGBT organization in Florida.

Both Charlie Crist and Nan Rich have been courting the LGBT vote in Florida, and have offered us support and promises should either of them be elected governor. At the end of the day, it’s important to be an informed voter, and part of being informed means knowing that there are two options if you are voting Democrat. Read up on both candidates and cast your vote with care.

To read more about Charlie Crist’s candidacy, visit charliecrist.com. To read more about Nan Rich and her candidacy, and to find out where you can meet with her before the primary election, visit nanrich2014.com.