Jim Davis says he's ready for Charlie Crist by Mitch E.Perry09/06/06
Democratic nominee for Governor Jim Davis said today that his hard fought victory last night was a test that Florida voters passed. The test he was referring to was the battle, he says, between the special interests represented in Tallahasee, and the people (roll tape#1 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?the state belongs to usÃ¢â‚¬?)
That special interest Davis was referring to was U.S. Sugar, the corporation that nearly single handedly bankrolled Rod SmithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign in the last few weeks of the intense race for Governor.
But there was no trace of acrimony from Davis in his remarks, less than 12 hours after he declared victory. He thanked Rod Smith for calling him last night to concede the election(roll tape#2 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?of everything elseÃ¢â‚¬?)
Davis said Property Insurance IS the issue of the race against Attorney General Charlie Crist.
As to what type of strategy he might employ against a candidate with higher name recognition and an undoubtadley larger bank account, the Tampa area Congressman said there is a desire for change throughout the country, tying Crist to state politics in Tallahassee (roll tape#3 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬? I say we need to change thatÃ¢â‚¬?)
The Democratic nominee said he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ready to talk specifics about how heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll go after Charlie Crist, but when pressed on a clear policy difference, settled on the FCAT exam. But Davis says he simply wants to amend the controversial test, not end it (roll tape#4 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬? a checkupÃ¢â‚¬?)
The two biggest issues in which Davis appears vulnerable going into his contest with Crist include his voting record Ã¢â‚¬â€œ ranked the 2nd worst in all of the current congress, and his 1990 vote denying financial compensation for 2 African-American men who had been wrongly imprisoned.
Today an African-American supporter of Davis, South Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings, told Davis he needed to immediately make good with black voters by talking to Freddie Pitts and Wilbur Lee, the 2 men who Davis voted to deny a compensation package when Davis served in the Florida legislature in 1990.
Davis said he needs to look further into the case, which means it will remain an issue for him (roll tape#5 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?be the first to admit itÃ¢â‚¬?)
When asked about how he might do in North Florida, Davis rolled off a number of Counties in the northern part of the state that he took over the supposed favorite son in that region, Alachua County Senator Rod Smith. As to who he might be thinking of selecting as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor, Davis would not give any names out.