Alex Sink is running for Governor - GOP immediately attacks

05/13/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that she will run for Governor next year.

Sink released a statement today saying she will seek the office Republican Charlie Crist is giving up to run for the U.S. Senate. She is seen as the Democrats' best hope of taking over the governor's mansion for the first time in more than a decade.

Sink is a former bank president and the only Democrat in the state Cabinet, elected in 2006. She's seen as conservative on financial issues, but progressive on other issues. She recently criticized Republicans for a proposal to open Florida's coastline to offshore oil drilling.

She recently faced accusations of hypocrisy after it was discovered that recent trips across the state have cost Florida taxpayers thousands of dollars. Sink been vocal about saving taxpayer money, and the state Democratic party has bashed Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottcamp for traveling to the state capital and back on non-related work issues.

Political analyst and Democrat Bob Buckhorn says Alex Sink is a strong candidate to win the Governor’s office next year.

Last year, rumors surfaced that Sink was contemplating running for Senate, immediately after Mel Martinez stunningly announced that he would not run for re-election for Senate in 2010. Sink quickly denied those rumors. Then when rumors began that Charlie Crist might leave the Governor’s office, attention came back to Sink – and in both cases, the Florida Republican Party began shooting out heavily-negative press releases about her.

With Sink’s announcement today, the state GOP was ready. They accuse the former Bank of America executive with being paid millions of dollars while overseeing what the head of Atlanta’s Legal-Aid called “sub-prime predatory mortgage lending.”

They claim that 'the real' Alex Sink fired thousands of Floridians while earning her millions through these predatory lending practices, and that 'the real' Alex Sink played 'the leading role' in tanking Florida’s economy.

With the Florida Primary election some 15 months away, other Democrats could join Sink in the race for the nomination. But it appears that her name recognition will make her the leading candidate. Earlier this week, WMNF asked several Democrats their thoughts on Sink running for Governor, beginning with former Senate Minority Leader Les Miller.

Tampa City Council woman Linda Saul-Sena, herself expected to be a candidate for Mayor in 2011 was enthusiastic when asked about Sink, as was Pat Kemp, the chairwoman of the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee (and wife of WMNF Program Directory Randy Wynne).

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