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2014 Gubernatorial Race

Photo courtesy of FLGOVSCOTT

2014 was a big year for education in Florida.

Activists in Lee County convinced the school board to ditch state testing -- before the board reversed the decision a couple of days later.

Florida schools pushed ahead with new Common Core-based math and language arts standards in every grade, despite rising opposition to Common Core across the country.

So you’re a Florida Democrat. You’re looking for a silver lining to the humiliating Sunshine Shellacking your party took in Tuesday’s midterm elections. 

There really isn't one. But there may be a pewter lining: Your gubernatorial candidate, Charlie Crist, lost to the Republican incumbent, Governor Rick Scott, by only a percentage point. What's more, Crist might have won if not for a dumb political move by President Obama that alienated Latino voters.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Polls show Governor Rick Scott and former Governor Charlie Crist are polarizing. Voters are as likely to dislike the candidates as they are to approve of them.

So both candidates are talking about schools, colleges and scholarships -- to motivate their supporters.

“Education is an issue that is helping to appeal to the base," says Sean Foreman, a Barry University political science professor and chairman of the education committee for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Lottie Watts / WUSF 89.7

Former President Bill Clinton was in Florida Sunday to campaign on behalf of Charlie Crist, a former Republican and former governor who is now the Democratic gubernatorial candidate. 

"Charlie Crist will get the show on the road from Florida," Clinton told a crowd of about 1,000 Crist supporters at Cyrus Greene Park in East Tampa. "And he will grow the economy from the middle out ... he believes we ought to do this together."

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist says the black vote is crucial to winning the upcoming general election against Republican Governor Rick Scott. On Tuesday, Crist made those remarks in Tallahassee at the historically black university, Florida A and M.

During a campaign event touting higher education, Crist said the turnout in the African American community is very critical, and encouraged FAMU students to help get others to the polls.

Blocks away from the Florida Capitol today, a group targeting climate-change deniers kicked off what it’s calling “Rick Scott’s Ark Tour.” The NextGen Climate Action Committee has spent more than $3.6 million so far in an attempt to inject climate change as an issue in the Florida governor’s race, according to finance records filed with the state.

Noah’s ark, or what looks just like it, was parked at a meter on a busy Tallahassee street. During the lunch-hour rush  here, about two dozen college students were waving signs and handing out T-shirts to passing drivers.

politifact.com

The battle for the Florida governor's office is fully engaged now.  

And, oddly, both Republican Governor Rick Scott and his challenger, Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, appear to be using some of the same ammunition.

Both the Republican Party of Florida and the Crist campaign have recently cited convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein in ads slamming their opponent.

Governor Stumps in Central Florida

Sep 8, 2014
Amy Green / WMFE

Governor Rick Scott is promising a billion dollar tax cut over the next two years.

Scott campaigned for re-election Monday in Winter Park and Kissimmee.

In Winter Park, the governor was relaxed and surrounded by an energized crowd of supporters that included incoming state Senate President Andy Gardiner of Central Florida.

Talking to reporters afterward, the governor explained his rationale for the billion-dollar tax cut.

Alan Diaz / Associated Press

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been crossing the state this past week, vowing at campaign stops that if he's re-elected he will enact another $1 billion in tax cuts over the next two years.

Scott has said he can enact the tax cuts as well as boost spending on education and pay for new projects to help the environment because the state has a budget surplus.

"We know there's no question about it, it's your money, it's not government money," Scott said about his tax-cutting plans during a campaign stop held in Plant City.

Associated Press

When Charlie Crist went to Miami's Little Havana recently, the Democratic candidate for governor stood before a crowd and said what few politicians have in decades of scrounging for votes in the Cuban-American neighborhood: End the trade embargo against Cuba.

"If you really care about people on the island, we need to get rid of the embargo and let freedom reign," he said, shouting above a small band of protesters who responded with chants of "Shame on you!"

Crist's supporters cheered louder.

www.news4jax.com

Despite spending millions on television ads, Republican Gov. Rick Scott is trailing former Gov. Charlie Crist by 10 points in a new poll.

The poll released by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday has Crist leading Scott 48 percent to 38 percent.

Pollsters also found that 53 percent do not think Scott deserves a second term as governor and that 42 percent approve of the job he's doing.

SharingFlorida.org

Charlie Crist has to close a sale.

The one-time Republican governor now wants to become governor as a Democrat.

But he needs to convince Democrats he’s now one of them if he has any chance of challenging Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

It's why Crist is talking about his education record during the early days of the campaign -- especially his 2009 decision to accept federal stimulus money.

That money ensured teachers stayed on the job, Crist said at his campaign announcement earlier this month in St. Petersburg.