Mitch Perry 8.2.12 - Charlie Crist getting closer to a Democratic run for Governor?

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Charlie Crist yesterday endorsed Bill Nelson in his battle against Connie Mack IV for U.S. Senate this fall. Some analysts have speculated that, combined with his recent op-ed assailing Governor Rick Scott for his purge of non-citizen voters, that he is leaning towards running as a Democrat against Scott two years from now.

The Trib's William March quotes Crist as responding to the question about whether he'll become a Democrat by saying, “I don’t know … Who knows what the future holds. Right now I’m enjoying being indie and working hard in the private sector, and only time can tell.”

Although you might press some Democrats who say they don't trust Crist, most of them - including Scott Randolph, you may become the next party chair - say they don't mind if the former lifelong Republican were to join their ranks to challenge Scott.

As has been mentioned often in this space, the Democrats don't have much of a bench of candidates who look formidable in 2014, though perhaps they will be when compared to the still unpopular GOP incumbent. You hear a lot of positive buzz about Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Others think highly of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. But of the two, Dyer would be much more likely to go for it in two years, as Buckhorn will still be in his first term in office, and has said repeatedly his only (immediate) ambition is to be the mayor of Tampa for eight years. Which makes Charlie Crist an increasingly likely candidate for the Dems in 2014..

Not sure what the folks at the Host Committee with the RNC thinks about this, but Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann intend on speaking at a rally in Tampa the exact same time as the official welcoming party for convention delegates takes place later this month. The venue will be at a Tampa church, a little bit smaller than its first choice - Raymond James Stadium.

Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson announced Tuesday night that he was leaving his position at the end of this month, prompting Democrats throughout the state to call on Governor Rick Scott and Florida's GOP-led Legislature to rethink the emphasis on the FCAT. Actually, Congresswoman Kathy Castor is going above Scott and asking the feds to investigate.

Everyone knows the streets of Tampa are not the friendliest for those traversing them by foot or bike. Local government is doing what they can, but the state has a big say in all of this, which is why a meeting hosted by the Florida Department of Transportation next Monday could be a big deal.

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