Governor fights to become Senator

By Aron Smukler
Special to Valencia Voice

The current governor of Florida is back for his second attempt at becoming a United States senator representing the state of Florida.

Charlie Crist has said that the reason why he left the Republicanparty this past April was because he felt he was
squeezed out of the party. Now, Crist has no party affiliation and is running as an Independent.

While this could hurt his chances of getting elected because he is not backed by any party, it is also hurting his opponents by having an extra candidate in the race. Charlie Crist believes his political policies put him in between the ideas of the two major parties and therefore does not allow him to enforce the policies he believes best situates his constituents.

Crist has publicly stated that the reason for switching parties is “a product of a broken political system.” This decision to abandon the Republican party came only weeks after polls showed the current Florida governor was a 20-point underdog.

While the current governor has been criticized for his fiscal policies, he has also been recognized for his advocacy on environmental preservation and capital punishment and has a dense educational and career track record.

Crist attended Florida State University where he was elected vice president of the student body and gained his first experience in representing his constituency. After earning his bachelor’s degree in political science, Crist decided he wanted to further his education and began attending law school at Samford University Law School in Birmingham, Ala.

Upon graduation from law school, Crist was quick to find a job becoming part of the general council of the Minor League Baseball Commission where he worked for six years. This was a great accomplishment for Crist and after resigning from the position in 1987 he decided to open his own law firm [“Wood and Crist”] with his former brother-in-law.

Governor Crist has persistently attempted to get voted into public office during this time and finally in 1992 he got voted into Florida state’s senate where he represented his constituents for the next six years.

After his term as Florida’s state senate came to an end and losing in the United States senate race to the popular incumbent Democrat Bob Graham, Crist was elected Education Commissioner of Florida in 2000, a position he held until it became an office filled by political appointment in 2003.

Crist was then elected Florida’s attorney general in which he was recognized for heavily prosecuting civil rights and fraud cases. The current governor has been criticized for vetoing the teacher merit bill, which among other matters ties teacher pay largely to student learning gains on standardized tests,because he believes the plan is “significantly flawed” and “we must start over.”

In the past month governor Crist purchased 26,800 acres of land for everglades restoration in an attempt to make the Everglades Florida’s national park.

Charlie Crist has nearly 20 years of political experience and, now that he is not attached to a political party, can run under his own political platform in which he believes best serves his constituency.