Chiles on partisanship, money, and the governor's race
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08/26/10 Kate Bradshaw
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Lawton "Bud" Chiles III


photo by Kate Bradshaw, WMNF

He’s been called a spoiler for Alex Sink, whom Democrats are hoping will be Florida’s next governor. But Lawton "Bud" Chiles III doesn’t see it that way. Today in South Tampa, he said he was emboldened by the fact that unknown candidate Mike McCalister got more than 10% of the GOP vote in Tuesday’s primary.

Bud Chiles said the fact that Republican newcomer Rick Scott spent tens of millions of dollars to get less than half of the GOP vote it shows voters are sick of pricey mudslinging.

Chiles is the son of popular former Democratic governor Lawton Chiles. But, the son dropped out of the Democratic Party earlier this year. While he had sharp words for the political establishment, Chiles did explain a cordial phone exchange that took place between himself and Attorney General Bill McCollum, who lost the GOP gubernatorial nomination to Scott.

McCollum has not endorsed Scott, and Chiles said he’d accept an endorsement from the Attorney General. When he announced his independent bid, Democrats urged him not to run. Today Chiles explained why he’s still in the race.

Two weeks ago, Chiles told WMNF he hasn’t ruled out dropping his candidacy if it looked like doing so would keep Scott out of the governor’s mansion. Today, he maintained that while he’s not beholden to a party, he wants to do what’s right for Florida.

Chiles said he defines “viable” as having a possibility that he’ll win.

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