The Obama administration has long had a strong relationship with Crist, who was one of the few high-profile Republicans to enthusiastically endorse the $700 billion stimulus package that he said helped keep Florida teachers and emergency workers employed and could have funded a high-speed rail initiative in Florida had Gov. Scott not rejected the money.
Crist is no shoo-in to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Other prospective candidates include former chief financial officer and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston, and former Miami-Dade Commissioner Jimmy Morales.
“Crist was an absolute warrior for President Obama and as a result, many of the party activists I talk to are willing to welcome him with open arms, and there is no question he is an extremely viable candidate for governor, though I don’t think that beating Alex Sink in a primary is any kind of sure thing,” said Democratic strategist Steve Schale, who worked on Sink’s campaign as well as both Obama Florida campaigns.
Sink, like Crist, has not committed to running for governor again, but in a Political Connections interview airing Sunday on Bay News 9, she said Crist’s potential candidacy would have little or no effect on her thinking.
“I don’t go anywhere without strangers walking up to me on the street and asking me, and sometimes begging me and sometimes crying about their desire to see me run again,” Sink said in the interview airing Sunday at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. “If I run I’m in it to win, no matter who the other comers are.”
Adam C. Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.