Will $100 million buy the governor's race?

The projected cost of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election bid: $100 million.

The value of grassroots mobilizing to put Charlie Crist back in the governor’s office: Priceless.

That is how Democratic organizers see Crist's challenge in trying to take back the governor's office in Florida. Whether big organizing can trump big money remains to be seen.

Scott is expected to spend $100 million on his re-election bid, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

But Crist, one of his Democratic challengers, is getting some topnotch help from the same Florida campaign workers who helped Barack Obama in his 2008 and 2012 campaigns. State Sen. Nan Rich also is running in the primary, though polls put Crist ahead of his challenger.

Organizing help for Crist — a former Republican governor turned Democrat — include Obama’s Florida campaign manager, field organizer, media consultant and pollster.

Crist is getting a warm welcome in the Democratic Party, after upstaging the Republican National Convention in Tampa by announcing his support for Obama. In December 2012, he joined the Democratic Party.

Polls not only put Crist ahead of Rich in the primary, but show him easily overtaking Scott n the general election, according to the Times.

Bondi building war chest: Pam Bondi continues to rake in donations for her re-election bid as state attorney general, as her Democratic challengers fall way behind.

Bondi’s campaign contributions now top $1 million, according to Saintpetersblog.com.

Her campaign continues to build momentum. In October alone, she raised close to $100,000.

Recent controversies surrounding Bondi’s re-election bid do not seem to faze contributors. They included Bondi delaying a death-row execution because it fell on the same date she planned a fall campaign fundraiser party at a private Tampa home.

Bondi's Democratic challengers have some serious catching up to do. George Sheldon, who was acting secretary with the Department of Children and Family, has raised only $5,931 since entering the race in October.

House Minority Leader Perry Thurston just entered the race this month, so there are no reporting figures on fundraising.

Here comes the sun rally: Sun worshippers will be crowding into a St. Petersburg park today. Instead of bringing beach blankets, they will carry signs urging the state’s largest utility to invest in solar power.

Darden Rice, the newly elected St. Pete City Council member, will be among the leaders expected to rally Wednesday across the street from the Duke Energy headquarters. She is part of the newly formed Sunshine State Clean Energy Coalition, which includes environmental, business, political and faith leaders.

The coalition is calling on Duke Energy to set its sights on solar energy and to phase out the coal-fired Crystal River plant by 2016.

Clean energy is expected to become a hot issue in Florida, with gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist making the development of solar energy and other alternative fuel sources a platform of his campaign.


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