MIAMI GARDENS, FLA – Kendrick Meek, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, continues to consolidate support from Florida Democrats as he receives the endorsements of Rep. Mark S. Pafford (D-West Palm Beach), Rep. Darren Soto (D-Orlando), and Rep. Scott Randolph (D-Orlando). Statements by Rep. Pafford, Rep. Soto, Rep. Randolph and Kendrick Meek follow:
Rep. Pafford (D-West Palm Beach) said, “Kendrick Meek’s career has always been defined by his commitment to the people of Florida. Like me, he has stood in opposition to big oil and offshore oil drilling to protect Florida’s coastlines. Kendrick also understands the importance of protecting another natural resource: our children. As a father I am grateful that Kendrick fought to restrict class sizes so that our children can excel. I am honored to give Kendrick my support and will continue to fight with him for Florida.”
“Kendrick Meek has a long and reliable record of supporting issues Hispanics care about, including a strong economy, advancing education through smaller class sizes, equality, and fair wages. He was a strong supporter of Justice Sotomayor’s nomination and is against the Arizona style immigration law, issues important to our community. Kendrick Meek has asked for our support and I am honored to stand by him in Central Florida,” said Rep. Soto (D-Orlando).
“Kendrick Meek has been protecting the people of Florida since his days as a Florida State Trooper. He’s not afraid to stand up and speak truth to power. In his opposition to HB 1143, Kendrick stood for all women as a champion of choice. Kendrick is committed to securing justice for every Floridian, not just the ones with big pocketbooks. I am proud to stand by Kendrick and endorse his candidacy for the U.S. Senate,” reported Rep. Randolph (D-Orlando)
“I am honored to have the support of these three outstanding public servants. They have each fought tirelessly for the state of Florida and aren’t afraid to stand their ground on tough issues. These three men work relentlessly to protect the people of Florida because they understand what’s at stake. They are leaders who have strong roots in Florida and in their communities. I value their vision and their insight as principled men of character. Florida is fortunate to have them and I am honored to receive their support,” said Kendrick Meek, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.
Our campaign has also picked up the support of Al Gore, as he writes.
Florida has had its share of close elections, but this Senate race really ought to be a landslide. And it would be if people just look hard at the facts.
Kendrick Meek is the only one in this race who has consistently opposed offshore drilling. He is the only one who will ensure that we all have quality health care, and the only one who will focus on helping working Americans, rather than wealthy corporations.
Here is the bottom line: We have to help make sure Florida voters have all the facts about Kendrick and his opponents.
We’ve got just 42 days until Election Day, and Kendrick needs your help so he can keep his ads on the air and tell it like it is. His opponents are getting all the help they need – from corporations and special interests. Kendrick relies on you-his grassroots supporters. He needs you to make a donation today so he can raise $75,000 before the critical September 30 end-of-quarter deadline.
Click here to make an immediate donation to Kendrick’s campaign. He needs his grassroots supporters to help him raise $75,000 by the September 30 deadline.
As you know, I’m working hard to raise awareness about the serious threats to our environment. One reason it’s so hard is because the polluters don’t want any protections for the environment that might reduce their profits, so they have managed thus far to kill climate change legislation that would have protected our children and grandchildren.
Unlike his opponents, Kendrick Meek never has been and never will be in the pocket of these special interests. He was against offshore drilling long before the terrible oil spill in the Gulf, and he’s always worked to protect our beaches and wildlife, research and develop energy sources like solar power, and promote a better environment.
With Kendrick in the U.S. Senate, we can rest assured that there’s somebody in Washington looking out for us. But that will happen only when he can raise the funds to stay on the air until Election Day-just 42 days away. You are an integral part of Kendrick’s campaign because he relies on you for support, not oil companies and special interests.
Please make a donation to Kendrick’s campaign today and help him reach his goal of raising $75,000 before the September 30 deadline. If he reaches this goal, I know he’ll be able to win in November.
Once people get the facts, the choice will be clear and Kendrick Meek will be the new United States Senator from Florida. With your help today, we can make sure the facts get out.
We are also having a Rally for Kendrick Meek with former vice president Al Gore.
Hey, this is Kendrick’s New Media Director, Kenneth Quinnell. Wanted to drop in after the primary victory (57%-31%, while being outspent $27 million to $3 million) to thank everyone who supported us and keep you up to date on what we’re doing moving forward.
First I wanted to make sure you saw Kendrick’s victory speech:
It’s the speech of a Real Democrat who is running against two conservaties. Everyone knows Marco Rubio is the darling of the Tea Party crowd. But don’t forget that Charlie Crist was calling himself a “Reagan conservative” just a few months ago. (Incidentally, we’ve posted a bunch of his recent “I’m a conservative” press releases to our website. Since he’s gone Independent, it seems like some people want to give him a pass on his lifelong history of being a proudly outspoken conservative.
I’ve also included below our latest campaign strategy memo. Please give us feedback on the speech and the memo and we look forward to continuing our conversation with the Netroots.
Transcript of Victory Speech
First of all, I just want to thank God for this victory. I’m truly humbled by the people’s goodwill in this great state of Florida. I want to thank all of Florida for beliving, not only in my candidacy, but putting me on the ballot by signature — the first time in the history of this state.
I want to thank everyone that works every day. I want to thank those school bus drivers that I greeted this morning at 4:30 a.m. That know what it means to live paycheck to paycheck. I want to thank them first.
I want to thank our seniors who went out and voted and cast their ballot at 7 a.m. looking for representation. I want to thank all of those individuals, those first time voters, that voted in the last election for the first time that voted in this primary.
I want to thank President Obama. I want to thank President Clinton for coming down and supporting us. Bill Nelson and Alex Sink, who is going to be our next governor of the state of Florida.
To the campaign, to all the volunteers to all the people who kept believing. For all the people when times got rough in this campaign, there were those who counted us out, but you counted us in. Thank you for doing that.
I want to thank my family — my wife, Leslie Meek, my daughter Lauren, my son Kendrick, and my mother, U.S. Congresswoman Carrie Meek.
Ladies and Gentlemen, there are friends that are part of organized labor throughout this state who worked very, very hard. I want to thank them.
I want to be short tonight, because we have so much work to do. There are so many Floridians that are counting on a real leader to be the next United States senator and tonight we’re moving forward.
I always said that I was the David in this race and that if we just kept the faith, and we kept marching on and we kept knocking on doors and we kept making phone calls and we kept putting out yard signs and we kept putting bumper stickers on the back of cars and if we kept listening — if we just kept listening — that we would be victorious on this night and I want to thank every Floridian that cast a ballot in this primary election to make me the Democratic nominee and eventually the next senator from the state of Florida.
I made the case that I am the real Democrat in this race. I also made the case that I have the will and the desire and the energy to pull a double shift to get Florida back to work, to make sure that people have health care, to make sure we protect our environment.
Now ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry I had to keep you down here waiting for a little while because I had to talk to Maurice Ferre. I want to thank him for a great campaign. He called and wished us well as we continue to move on. I had an opportunity to speak with Jeff Greene. Jeff Greene gave us his blessings and that he looks forward to campaigning with us and I want to thank him for that phone call.
One thing that we have to keep in mind, ladies and gentlmen, that this election is not about those that are running for office, it’s about the people of this state and we have to continue to keep that focus for people that are in rural Florida or those that are in urban Florida. All the way from Northwest Florida, Northeast Florida, Central Florida, South Florida, Southwest Florida, Southeast Florida will be represented all the way down to the southernmost point of Key West, ladies and gentlemen, I am here, I am prepared to work for every vote in the state of Florida be it Democrat, Republican or Independent because I know what it means to punch in and punch out every day.
I think if we learned anything in this campaign, it’s that the people of this state had the opportunity to see the muddiness of politics. Well let me tell you something, ladies and gentlemen, when you are dealing with the muddiness of life, you can count on me. I will not bail out on you, I will not leave you behind and I will not start changing on you when you need me because the people of the state of Florida stood with me tonight, ladies and gentlemen, through 26 million plus dollars being spent against us. We made history in this state because the state of Florida wass not for sale, will not be for sale and we will stand up and continue this effort.
Now let’s talk about the business.
I want to mention a few things because I want you to leave here and I want you to know what we stand for. Now this election is going to be about where the candidates stand. I am running against two conservative candidates for the United States senate that have similar records. I think it’s very important that everyone here in this room know by electing me to be your next United States senator, I will be the only candidate in this race that was against offshore oil drilling before and after the spill and will make sure to protect Florida’s environment.
I will be the only candidate, ladies and gentlemen, the only Democratic candidate, ladies and gentlmen, that has always, consistently been against the privatization of Social Security.
I will be the only candidate, ladies and gentlemen, that stood in their for Justice Sotomayor. When she was up for her nomination, I stood up and said that she was the right selection and that she would be an outstanding Supreme Court Justice.
I am the only candidate, and will be the only candidate, that will stand up for a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body.
I will be the only candidate, ladies and gentlemen, that fought, legislated and will continue to work for comprehensive health care for every American and every Floridian.
I will be the only candidate, ladies and gentlemen, that’s willing to pull back on the top 1% of the Bush tax cuts and give more tax cuts to the middle class and small businesses.
And when you make me your next United States senator, I will stand up to make sure that you continue to see what you’re seeing now — our men and women coming back home to their families from Iraq and Afghanistan. It is important to military families that we reuinite them and continue to hunt for those that harmed our country.
I think it’s also important, ladies and gentlemen, to know that anything that came out of this primary — it showed that this campaign has the strength, the integrity, the will and the desire to win this office. And I may not beat Goliath before November 2, but when November 2 gets here, ladies and gentlement, I’m going to still going to be comfortable playing David, because we know when the polls close, ladies and gentlemen, in the great state of Florida, on November 2, that I will be the next Senator from this state.
I want you to know that my campaign is based on the struggle of Floridians. My campaign is based on making sure that children have someone who is going to fight for them.
And I think what helped Floridians make a decision in this election was the fact that I had a real Florida story. I grew up in here Florida. My mother was born here in Florida. My children born here in Florida. Grew up in the public school system. Diagnosed with dyslexia in the third grade. Kept plowing on. Single mother, three children, divorced twice, worked at the junior college, said she wanted to represent her community. That’s where I come from.
Attended Florida A&M University. Became a state trooper. Changed car tires in this state. Did the things I had to do to understand the needs of people. Served as a skycap at the airport, service worker in this state. Went on to serve this state in the state legislature, went on to serve this state in Congress. Some people call it career politicians, I call it public service.
So Florida, as we march on, as we continue to knock on doors, as we continue to listen, as we continue to count all 67 counties in, we will win in November. And when you leave here tonight, I want you to know that hope marches on. Believe isn’t just a slogan. And the dream endures. Thank you so very much Florida.
God bless you. Thank you. I love you. I’d love, Florida, to be your next United States senator. God bless America
Campaign Strategy Memo
From: Abe Dyk, Campaign Manager
To: Interested Parties
Date: August 25, 2010
Re: General Election
Yesterday, Kendrick Meek earned the right to face two lifelong conservatives in Florida’s U.S. Senate race. Millions spent on negative attacks did not stop everyday people from casting their ballots for Kendrick. He won on the strength of his character, his grassroots supporters, and his ideas – not his checkbook. Kendrick proved that he can never be counted out against a better-funded opponent even in the general election.
MEEK HAS THE MOMENTUM
Kendrick being outspent seven-to-one once Jeff Greene got into the race could not match the grassroots engine that has fueled his campaign. The same people that went to work to put Kendrick on the ballot by petition – unprecedented for a statewide candidate in Florida – took him over the finish line in the primary.
Oftentimes after winning primaries, candidates need to shift their message and run a different campaign in the general election. However, Kendrick is not going to shift his message at all. In a three-way race, Kendrick is still the only Real Democrat, and the only candidate willing to fight for the middle class against the special interests.
In Florida, where Democratic registrations outpace Republicans by more than 600,000, and independents are likely to make up 18% of the electorate, this race will be won by turning out the same Democratic base that just entrusted Kendrick with the party’s nomination.
President Obama remains extremely popular with Democrats – 84% job approval in the latest Quinnipiac poll – and Kendrick is the only candidate willing to stand with Obama to get Americans back to work, invest in future generations, and get Florida moving forward. President Obama has, in turn, committed to electing Kendrick as Florida’s next U.S. Senator, as has President Bill Clinton.
Kendrick has the support of the state party apparatus, and unlike the Republican establishment that spent all of its funds bolstering Attorney General Bill McCollum’s gubernatorial bid, the Democratic Party has the resources to compete statewide. Conversely, Crist has no party apparatus, having abandoned the Republican Party – but not his conservative values – for political gain.
Floridians – especially Democrats in Florida – know exactly what they are going to get by voting for Kendrick Meek for U.S. Senate.
CRIST CANNOT WIN
The math does not add up for Florida’s elected Republican Governor.
With universal name recognition, Charlie Crist abandoned his Republican primary fight against Marco Rubio. Only 39% of Democrats supported Crist at a time when Kendrick was completely unknown beyond his district, a number that will be a high-water mark for him running against a Real Democrat.
With Republicans coalescing around a Tea Party candidate, and Democrats with Kendrick, the math does not exist to elect Charlie Crist. With an expected turnout of 43% Democrats and 40% Republicans, Kendrick needs to win 75% of registered Democrats and just 17% of the registered Independent vote to secure 35% of the vote total. 35%-40% is all that is needed to win in a three-way race.
The apparent strength that Crist is currently registering in the polls will not last. Even with all the Independents, Crist cannot win without getting more than 30% of Democrats and Republicans, and it is unlikely either group will support him as he twists and turns his positions over the next 10 weeks. The Charlie Crist sideshow does not have enough of the electorate to result in a victory, and with no state party apparatus, it is only a matter of time before Crist’s campaign begins limping towards the finish line. There are no runoffs in Florida elections, and for Charlie Crist, there may not be any more chances either.
He could not stand up against Rubio, and he will never be able to stand up for Floridians as a U.S. Senator.
THE REAL CHOICE: MEEK OR RUBIO
Once Crist collapses, voters will have a choice between Kendrick Meek and Marco Rubio.
Kendrick is the only candidate who fought against privatizing Social Security and high credit card fees. He is the only candidate who supports a woman’s right to choose and equal pay for equal work. He is the only candidate who will fight to cut taxes for the middle class and seek to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans and corporate special interests.
Kendrick won the primary because he is the only candidate that will work for everyday people. He’s done it his entire career. Floridians know they can count on Kendrick, and they are poised to elect another Democrat to the U.S. Senate.
Hey, this is Kenneth Quinnell, the New Media Director for the Kendrick Meek campaign. Wanted to make sure that everyone saw that we released our third TV ad, this one a positive ad introducing voters to Kendrick and his background. Give us feedback on this and let us know if we’re going in the right direction.
(Transcript and press release below the fold)
Kendrick Meek: “I was raised by a single mom.”
Carrie Meek “He always had a lot of hair. I don’t know what happened to it.”
Kendrick: “I was a sky cap, a state trouper, and a legislator.”
John Ladanza “He was one of my best patrol men”
Sky Cap “He always got time to talk, hes always got a few minutes.”
Kendrick: “I fought to protect the everglades and against privatizing social security”
Elmon “Lee” Garner: “He had the concern and the caring to see how wronged we were”
Kendrick: “But in the end, its about your life and not mine.”
MIAMI GARDENS, FLA.- Today, the Kendrick Meek for Florida campaign released the campaign’s third television ad, “My Life,” that focuses on Kendrick’s life and fight for Florida families. You can view the ad here.
The ad features interviews with Captain John Idanza, a retired officer in the Florida Highway Patrol who Kendrick reported to as a young state trooper, Kendrick’s mother Carrie Meek, and two skycaps who Kendrick worked alongside when he hauled bags for tips as a teenager at Miami International Airport.
Chattahoochee City Manager Elmon “Lee” Garner also tells the story of how Kendrick stood up and fought the opening of a sexual predator facility that was almost placed just a few blocks from a local school.
“He had the concern and caring to see just how wronged we were,” explains Garner in the ad.
The ad also shows a photo of Kendrick with the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Vicki Kennedy, Senator Kennedy’s widow, said she was honored to give Kendrick her family’s blessing to use the photo.
The ad also details Kendrick’s efforts to protect the Everglades from development and his fight against President Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security.
Uniquely, the ad directs viewers to watch the entire film, titled “Across Florida,” which tells the longer story of Kendrick’s life and his fight for the middle class.
If you haven’t seen it yet, the campaign released a new web video this morning, asking the question, “How do you find the real Democrat in the Florida U.S. Senate race”? Take a look and tell me what you think. Video and transcript after the jump…
Narrator: How do you find the real Democrat in the Florida U.S. Senate race?
Narrator: Uh, not Marco Rubio, no.
Narrator: Jeff Greene says he’s a Democrat, but he was a Republican, and was not a Democrat until 2008.
Chorus: He’s not a real Democrat.
Narrator: He’s just confused.
Narrator: Jeff thinks he can use the bazillion dollars he made when middle class families lost their homes to buy the Florida Senate seat. [Chorus: Boos]
Chorus: That’s Just Charlie Crist
Narrator: Even Charlie Crist said: “I’m a Jeb Bush Republican,” “It’s hard to be more conservative than I am on the issues.”
Chorus: Charlie Crist is no Democrat
Narrator: So, which candidate in the race is pro-choice, has always voted against offshore drilling, and stood up for the middle class?
Chorus: That’s Kendrick Meek
Chorus: Democrat [Photo of President Bill Clinton]
Chorus: Democrat [Photo of President Barack Obama]
Chorus: Democrat [Photo of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz]
Chorus: Democrat [Photo of Sen. Al Franken]
Chorus: Democrat [Photo of Rep. Nydia Velazquez]
Chorus: Democrat [Photo of Rep. Ted Deutch]
Chorus: Democrat [Photo of Rep. Alcee Hastings]
Narrator: That’s why these Dems are supporting Kendrick Meek.
Narrator: Don’t miss the elephant in the room. There’s only one real Democrat in the race — Kendrick Meek for U.S. Senate.
As you know, Floridians are disproportionately affected by the actions of British Pretoleum that led to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I’m talking to Floridians every day who enraged at BP and want to make sure that BP pays the full price for it’s actions. I’m listening.
I also want to listen to you. I’m going to be one of the leading voices in holding BP accountable. I want your feedback. Tell me actions you’d like to see taken to make sure that BP pays the price for this oil spill.
(Transcript of video below…)
Rep. Kendrick Meek on the BP Oil Spill
America’s Future Now Conference
June 9, 2010
Human error, criminal activity, British Petroleum — one of the biggest companies on the face of the earth, eleven people died, individuals are still affected by it, people have lost their jobs and they’re still giving dividends.
Ladies and gentlemen, your purpose right now is greater than ever. You are supposed to make people like me uncomfortable. You are supposed to make corporate executives uncomfortable. You are supposed to push for folks who can’t push for themselves. And so I come today to tell you to keep up the good work. Continue to challenge us and continue to make us better. Continue to be “yes I know what you did yesterday, but what are you going to do tomorrow.” Continue to make sure that individuals are sitting on the edge of their seats versus leaning back in their seats when it comes down to meeting the needs of individuals who cannot help themselves.
British Petroleum, as far as I’m concerned, there shouldn’t be any caps as it relates to liability.
So I’m going to tell you right now, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is bigger than what we’re used to. We have the environment that has been affected and we will not know the true damage to aquatic life for years to come. At the same time, we have the conservatives that are saying “less regulation.” Ladies and gentlmen, less regulation brought about the fall on Wall Street. Less regulation killed those coal miners. Less regulation killed those 11 individuals that worked on that platform. Less regulation brought about this disaster, ladies and gentlemen.
Every last dividend that BP wants to give out should go towards cleaning up this Gulf and making sure that these families are made whole, to be able to teach that in this country corporate greed will not go unpunished and individuals should go to jail and individuals should pay the price for what they’ve done.
My track record speaks to the fight. I have a 100% Sierra Club record — not after the spill, but before the spill.
I am glad that one of the first pieces of legislation that left the house was the Climate Change bill and that I voted for that legislation, because I can stand on solid ground, not only having a 100% Sierra Club record, not only having a history against offshore oil drilling off the coast of Florida, but also standing up when very few were there.
But I will tell you, as long as I have a card to vote in the United States Congress and when I get a voting card to vote in the United States Senate, British Petroleum will not sleep well, because they know that there’s a 6’3″, 250-pound member of Congress that’s thinking about them and that’s on them and will make them accountable in this disaster. Thank you.
This week, the White House made a big announcement: they would back a vote to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In my opinion, it is a vote that is long overdue. My opponents, however, both oppose changing this intolerant policy. For far too long, the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has dishonored those who serve our country so nobly. While yesterday’s signals from the White House are promising, the fight to finally repeal this policy has only just begun. The time to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is now – we can’t delay any further. Click here to join me today and call on Congress to take immediate action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
We must not let political games or ideological squabbles overwhelm our best chance to bring about this long-sought change. The current policy is not only discriminatory to so many Americans, but is wrong for our national security. Floridians deserve to know – Would Governor Crist and Speaker Rubio vote against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” pending in Congress right now? Since 1994, over 13,000 service members have been discharged under this law. This is reform that truly embodies the principles this nation was founded upon. I ask you to stand with our brave servicemen and women and join me in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Those who protect our nation deserve nothing less. This policy puts us in the company of countries like Cuba, China, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria that don’t allow LGBT citizens to serve in their military. Arguments that repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would undermine our security are undercut by the fact that countries like Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and dozens of others all allow their LGBT citizens to openly serve in the military. These countries seem pretty secure to me.
A Gallup poll released earlier this month found that 70 percent of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. The New York Times reported: “A Post/ABC News poll showed that 75 percent of Americans support ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ One from the New York Times put support for gay men and lesbians serving openly at 70 percent. And 57 percent surveyed by Quinnipiac University favored repealing the 16-year-old law. Gallup shows that 70 percent of the American people are in line with that sentiment in a poll released on Monday.” Another poll from CNN released today said that 78% of Americans support gays openly serving in the military. In this poll, even the majority of Republicans want this change.
On Monday, Governor Crist told reporters, “I think the current policy has worked pretty well for America. I don’t know why there is any need for change at this time.” Does that mean he would vote against this repeal in the Senate? I have been a longstanding cosponsor of legislation to repeal this discriminatory policy. Yesterday, I posted a petition on my website that calls on Congress to take immediate action to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” I am the only progressive in this race standing up to repeal this policy. I hope you will join me today.
I’ve always opposed misguided efforts that threaten Florida’s economy and environment by haphazardly drilling offshore. The vast oil spill off the coast of Louisiana – which led Gov. Crist to declare a state of emergency in several Panhandle counties – confirms this sad truth: the cost for error in Florida is too great. If thousands of barrels of oil spill over into our coasts, our economy, environment and military will all bear the brunt of massive corporate irresponsibility.
Marco Rubio stands by his support for expanding offshore drilling in the Gulf. “My message won’t change,” he said in Clearwater last week when asked about the oil spill. And while Charlie Crist now says he opposes new oil drilling, it wasn’t that long ago he was open to drilling closer to the coast. On the other hand, I remain a firm proponent of ending our reliance on foreign oil and harnessing clean energy, but who knows what the long-term impact of this spill will be for our state. We also get the news now that an oil drilling rig overturned 80 miles off the coast of New Orleans. We can’t afford to take more and more of these types of chances by expanding drilling in the Gulf and bringing it closer and closer to the coast that is so important for Floridians and their livelihoods. The cost to Florida families could be permanent and the more we expand drilling, the more likely we are to see more of these types of accidents.
It’s just not worth the risk, espcially for such a low payoff. Expanded drilling won’t solve our energy problems. I will continue to fight to protect Florida’s economy and deal with the aftermath of this disaster. I’m the only candidate in this race who has been consistently against more drilling. Stand with me in calling for a moratorium on further expansion of oil drilling in the Gulf. Sign my petition and tell the “drill, baby, drill” crowd that you aren’t going to take any more chances with our environment or our economy.
Tell Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio that you don’t want any more new drilling in the Gulf. Once we gather up your signatures, we’ll deliver them to Charlie and Marco to let them know how Floridians feel about this vital issue to our state.
Yesterday Governor Crist made the decision to run as a No Party Affiliation candidate for U.S. Senate. This put me in a commanding position to be the next Senator from Florida. Governor Crist’s decision to run as an Independent makes this a three-way race, with Speaker Rubio effectively winning the Republican nomination. That means on election day, Floridians will have a choice between a strong, progressive Democrat who fights hard for everyday Floridians and two registered Republicans who together were the architects of Florida’s failed economy, who both are embroiled in a tax evasion scandal, and who both favor more tax breaks for corporate special interests and the wealthy as their only economic proposal.
The national Republicans know that with two Republicans on the ballot in November we have a great chance to elect a candidate who will actually work for the needs of everyday Floridians. That’s why they urged Governor Crist to stay in the race as a Republican or drop out.
Why do I think our campaign is in such good shape? The numbers. The base Democratic vote in Florida is 2.5 million strong and we are on the rise in Florida. While the other side was locked in a battle over whose philosophy is more conservative, we were busy gathering over 145,000 petitions from Floridians to get on the ballot. We’ve been running a strong grassroots campaign for months and this effort will be key to turning out the vote in November, especially in a three-way race. The overall voter turnout in 2010 looks to be about 6.2 million voters. That means that in a race with Crist and Rubio on the ballot, we can win with 40% of the overall vote, a number we can get to with the Democratic base alone.
Crist polls well now in a three-way race. But that’s because our campaign isn’t as widely-known at this point. Almost everyone in Florida knows Gov. Crist and most know Speaker Rubio, meaning they have little room to grow their support. I have a great opportunity to introduce myself to voters, tell them my story and what I’m going to fight for as Florida’s next U.S. Senator.
I’ll stay around a while to answer questions in the comments. Thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks for your support.
Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to speak to your community.
I’m traveling all across the state getting to know Floridians and telling them about my story. I can’t talk to everyone personally, though, and since I’m running for U.S. Senate Americans outside of Florida may be interested in who I am as well, since the important work of the U.S. Senate affects all Americans.
Our campaign produced this video to help introduce people to me, my background and where I come from.
We know this is a competitive election, but we have a real chance to bring progressive change to Florida and Washington, D.C. and we need your help getting the word out.
You’ve heard a lot about my opponents and you’ll hear a lot more about them as they continue to fight a divisive primary over ideology and partisanship. I’d rather spend my time working hard and fighting to bring jobs to Florida, help our economy recover and continue to pursue the progressive platform of the Democratic Party.
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