Clarence Riley

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Clarence Riley
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Former candidate for
Governor of Florida
PartyWrite-in
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Clarence Riley was a write-in candidate for Governor of Florida in the 2014 elections.[1] He qualified for the election in June but was later removed from the ballot.[2]

Elections

2014

See also: Florida gubernatorial election, 2014

Riley ran for Governor of Florida as a write-in candidate. He was removed from the ballot prior to the general election.[3] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

Race background

Republican incumbent Rick Scott is seeking a second term as governor in 2014. Sources such as Governing, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, The Cook Political Report, The Washington Post and Daily Kos have rated Scott among the most vulnerable governors facing re-election in 2014.[4][5][6][7][8]

Education debate

Charlie Crist and Rick Scott have sparred over education funding as the primary election transitioned into a general election. Prior to the Republican primary, Scott announced that he would boost per-pupil spending to record levels if re-elected in November. The governor's office published a statement promising an increase in per-pupil funding to $7,132 per student for the 2016 fiscal year, which would surpass the $7,126 per student rate passed during Crist's first year as governor in 2007. He cited improving job figures in his office's optimistic outlook on public education financing.[9]

Crist toured the state in a school bus in August in order to highlight cuts in public education since Scott won election. He noted that the governor facilitated $1.3 billion in education cuts during the 2012 fiscal year.[9] Crist stated on his campaign website that he would push public schools and their partners to reach the top 10 percent of schools globally as measured by reading, math and science scores by 2020.[10]

Ad spending, influence

The Scott vs. Crist election battle has played out largely through television ads during the general election. Whether sponsored internally or produced and aired under the auspices of independent expenditures, the commercials have been predominantly negative, with each candidate and his outside backers barring no holds to disgrace the other before Florida's electorate of active television viewers.

In late September, Scott upped the ante on media spending for the race against Crist by sinking an additional $8 million on television commercials, next to Crist's roughly $5.5 million ad-buy increase on current and future spots. Already a wallet-shattering sum, these latest ad-buys put the total amount spent on behalf of the two frontrunners' marketing campaigns past the $50 million mark. Scott is responsible for 71 percent, or over $35 million, of this pot, far eclipsing contributions from Crist and his supporters. The incumbent's standing in the race nonetheless remains precarious as polls conducted amid the marketing blitz indicate a slight improvement for Scott. These marginal gains have invited comparisons to his road from virtual no-name to victory back in 2010, which was attributed in large part to a massive emphasis on TV commercials.[11]

A September 23 article in The Miami Herald pointed out that a candidate's on-air presence does not guarantee success in an election, although Florida's media-marketing landscape is such that a candidate who neglects television altogether is almost guaranteed to fail. "If TV ads decided the governor’s race, Scott would win in a landslide," the article stated.[11]

Primary races

In June 2013, ex-Florida Sen. Nan Rich became the first Democratic candidate in the race. She was later joined by former Florida Gov. and newly-minted Democrat Charlie Crist. Crist's candidacy looms heavy over Scott's re-election campaign, according to match-up and approval polls dating back as far as May 2012.[12][13][14]

Long affiliated with the Republican Party, Crist's first party switch occurred in 2010, when, after losing the Republican primary for U.S. Senate to Marco Rubio, he changed his registration to Independent as an alternative route to reaching the general election ballot. In the fall of 2013, Crist became a Democrat; This latest party makeover was widely interpreted as a strategic maneuver to help him unseat Scott in the 2014 governor's race.[15]

As the Crist story unfolded and media coverage about Scott's struggles increased, a slew of other lesser-known hopefuls began filing for the office, mainly as write-ins or with no party affiliation. By October 2013, there were over twenty potentials actively petitioning for a place on the primary and general election ballots.[16] When the filing window finally closed on June 20, 2014, the number had dropped to 18 qualified gubernatorial candidates. The Republican field settled to three, including Scott, while the Democratic field remained a head-to-head battle between Crist and Rich. Unopposed Libertarian nominee Adrian Wyllie earned a direct pass to the general election, along with nine write-ins and three candidates with no stated party preference.[17]

Under Article IV of the Florida Constitution, gubernatorial nominees are required to select running mates after the primary, though they are permitted to do so in advance. Customs for selecting running mates vary across Florida's main political parties. For example, Crist was chided for breaking with party tradition when he announced Annette Taddeo-Goldstein as his lieutenant governor pick prior to the primary. "Because he’s been a life-long Republican, Charlie Crist might be excused for not knowing that Democrats typically don’t choose a running mate until they win the nomination," jabbed Nan Rich, his Democratic primary challenger, in a July campaign press release.[18]

In January, Scott appointed Carlos Lopez-Cantera as Florida's new lieutenant governor, ending an extended vacancy in the office that began with former-Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll's March 2013 resignation amid a public relations scandal. Since Lopez-Cantera's appointment occurred during a gubernatorial election year, his qualifications as a campaigner factored significantly into his selection. Scott and Carroll shared the ticket in 2010, so the governor was left with the responsibility of picking not only a new lieutenant governor to serve out Carroll's term, but also a new running mate for the 2014 election.

Scott and Crist handily secured their respective parties' nominations in the August 26 primary election.[19]

The governor and lieutenant governor will be elected on a joint ticket in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Recent news

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See also

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References

  1. Florida Division of Elections, "Candidate Listing for 2014 General Election," June 20, 2014
  2. Florida Division of Elections, "Candidate Tracking System 2014 General Election, Governor: Clarence Riley," accessed September 12, 2014
  3. Florida Division of Elections, "Candidate Listing for the 2014 General Election, Governor, Withdrawn/Did Not Qualify," accessed September 12, 2014
  4. University of Virginia Center for Politics: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2013-2014 Gubernatorial Races," April 29, 2013
  5. The Washington Post, "The Fix's top gubernatorial races," September 27, 2013
  6. Daily Kos, "Daily Kos Elections gubernatorial race ratings: Initial ratings for 2013-14," October 6, 2013
  7. Governing, "2014 Governors Races," September 10, 2014
  8. The Cook Political Report, "Governors Race Ratings 2014," September 15, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Education Week, "School Spending Under Spotlight in Florida Gubernatorial Race," August 25, 2014
  10. Charlie Crist for Governor, "Education," accessed October 13, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Miami Herald, "Marc Caputo: With $50 million in TV ad spending, Rick Scott-Charlie Crist race is one big marketing campaign," September 23, 2014
  12. The Sun Sentinel, "Charlie Christ Announces Candidacy For Florida's Governor, As A Democrat," November 4, 2013
  13. Politico, "Ex-GOP Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist to run for job as Democrat," November 1, 2013
  14. The Daily Caller, "Charlie Crist briefly visits with Democratic Governors Association," January 9, 2013
  15. The Hill, "Charlie Crist joins Democratic party ahead of gubernatorial election," December 8, 2012
  16. Florida Division of Elections, "Candidate Listing for 2014 General Election - Governor," accessed October 7, 2013
  17. Florida Division of Elections, "Candidate Listing for 2014 General Election - Governor," accessed July 22, 2014
  18. Nan Rich for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Press release: Statement from Senator Nan Rich regarding Charlie Crist’s selection of a potential running mate," July 17, 2014
  19. My Florida - Election Watch, "2014 Primary, Unofficial Election Night Results," accessed August 26, 2014