You have to forgive the casual political observers in Florida this morning, who are waking up to headlines informing them that the Charlie Crist-Rick Scott battle is now "on," as opposed to what's been happening since springtime.
Well, Crist is now the official nominee, for one thing, so the story for the next couple of days will be: Can the Democrats come together for a kumbaya moment? (We're looking at you, Senator Nelson.) That starts tomorrow, when the Dems hold "unity" events in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.
Meanwhile, the most competitive race last night was in the Hillsborough County's District 6 Countywide School Board race. Incumbent April Griffin was expected to advance, so the big question was, who would be joining her in the runoff on November 4?
USF educator Dr. Stacy Hahn proved to be the most surprising candidate last night, hovering between second and third place most of the evening. But at the end of the evening, the well-financed Brandon-based attorney Dipa Shaw edged out Hahn, with Paula Meckley a very close fourth (and Allison Fernandez, another extremely impressive candidate, finished fifth).
Although there is some concern in Florida Democratic Party circles about how intense the base will be in support of Charlie Crist, Alex Sink is not one of those Democrats. The former CFO and 2010 gubernatorial nominee blasted Rick Scott yesterday in some of the harshest rhetoric we've ever heard from the mild-mannered Sink.
Rick Scott was in full campaign mode yesterday while making an appearance in Tampa with his wife, First Lady Ann Scott. The governor wasn't interested in responding to charges made against him by his former Lieutenant Governor, Jennifer Carroll, whose memoir is published today.
And a day after Ed Turanchik blasted Audubon of Florida for trying to put the halt on his ambitious high-speed ferry plans in Hillsborough County, Charles Lee from Audubon responded in kind, saying that the nature preserve that Turanchik wants to build a terminal on with 1,500 parking spaces is inappropriate.