Jim Davis gets GOP Support by Mitch E. Perry

10/05/06

In the Florida’s Governors race, both Charlie Crist and Jim Davis are considered moderate, non-ideological candidates.

So a recent Mason Dixon poll released late last month had to be alarming to the Davis camp. That showed that Charlie Crist, had the support of 24 percent of registered Democrats while Davis was supported by just 5 percent of Republican voters.

So the Davis campaign attempted today to show that their candidate does indeed enjoy bi-partisan support, by having a handful of registered Republicans declare their support for the Tampa area Congressman in a state wide conference call with reporters.

Pete Carpenter is a retired CEO of CSX, and is considered a lifelong Republican. According to the Davis camp, Carpenter was a “Pioneer�, earning that moniker for raising more than $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney camp in 2000. He doesn’t want to stay the course with in education (roll tape#1 o.q.� 2005�)

Frank Morsani is a local businessman from the Tampa Bay area and has supported Charlie Crist in his races for State Senate, as well as Education Commissioner in 2000 and Attorney General in 2002. Although he has supported Democrats – like Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles in the past, he says the GOP has turned him off in recent years (roll tape#3 o.q.�of the people�)

The words “Terri “ Sciavo� were also invoked by these Republicans for Davis. Last year’s intervention by Washington politicians at the last moment was ultimately considered a political disaster for Republicans nationally.

But Charlie Crist in his role as Attorney General was one Florida Republican lawmaker who did not fight to have Schiavo’s feeding tube re-inserted. Nevertheless, to lifelong Republican Pete Carpenter, the Schiavo case alienated him from the Grand Ole’ Party (roll tape#3 o.q.� avoiding fools’errands�)

Both Jim Davis and Charlie Crist are considered moderates in their own parties – and have rarely been accused of being too ideological in their policy positions.

Because of that, one reporter inquired, why were these lifelong Republicans switching parties for a politician who was accused in his Primary election against Tom Gallagher Of being too liberal

But Teresa Gaffney, a registered Republican and a member of the Women for Davis campaign, says Crist is in his own words, a Jeb Bush Republican (rol tape#4 o.q.�what he’s done�)

Republican Dov Sussman has given $2,000 to Gus Bilirakis in his run for Congress in his race against Democrat Phyllis Busansky, but he says he strongly supports Jim Davis (roll tape)

Jim Davis acknowledged that these supporters are not always with him on the issues, but they are with him in this governors race (roll tape#2 o.q..�and parties�)

Another Republican supporting Davis not present on the conference call is David Bludworth, a former Fifteenth Judicial Circuit State Attorney, who was the Republican nominee for Attorney General in 1998 and who backed Crist’s campaign for Attorney General in 2002.

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