No Florida Democrat standing tall as challenger to Rick Scott yet

  • Scott Randolph & Keith Fitzgerald chew the fat in Tampa

Democratic party activists from throughout the Sunshine State gathered Saturday night for food and drinks after spending the day voting for delegates to the national party's convention in Charlotte this September.

The festivities inside the Hyatt Regency included speeches by party chair Rod Smith, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (at his most partisan) as well as tributes to some of the state's stars of the past — Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller, honored by Smith for his contributions in the Legislature; former Education Commissioner and state Senator Betty Castor; and former Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham, who, judging by the number of people waiting to take a photo or snag an autograph of him, was the closest thing to a rock star in the Regency Ballroom.

And that's a bit of a problem.

Graham is 75. The highest elected public official serving in Florida, Graham's former Senate colleague Bill Nelson, is 69. There was little discussion Saturday night about the man or woman who could take down Rick Scott in 2014, who remains extremely vulnerable not even halfway through his term.