Miami Herald endorses Charlie Crist

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On Friday, the Miami Herald announced they are endorsing Democrat Charlie Crist for governor.

For much of the campaign, Crist and incumbent Gov. Rick Scott were busy tearing each other down, leading voters to assume the two are equally flawed.

That would be wrong, says the Herald editorial board.

Each candidate has a different approach on several key issues: open government, the economy, and other defining issues for the future of the Sunshine state.

With the economy, Crist and Scott are polar opposites. Jobs were a priority for Scott from day one, a lesson Crist can learn, says the Herald.

Crist did not have the same focus on jobs and hesitated to make contacts in the business world as Scott did. That will not be acceptable if Crist wins in November.

Scott does not wholly deserve credit Florida’s economic turnaround, but it did happen on his watch.

The herald notes that transparency is an issue where the two diverge the most.  In 2011, Scott announced his first budget at a Eustis tea party rally –the first clue that the governor fails to understand he is governor of all Floridians.

Scott may have improved since, but not by much. Events are scripted and controlled. He sticks to talking points and rarely answers questions he doesn’t like.

Crist has held a variety of statewide offices and rarely violates the state’s transparency laws. He may be slick in answering questions, but he is not afraid to talk to the press.

Crist and Scott differ on nearly everything, from Stand Your Ground to accepting $51 billion in federal funds to expand Medicare.

Neither candidate is perfect, says the Herald.

Crist is playing defense over his party switch from Republican to Democrat, his support for same-sex marriage and a pro-choice stance. Scott was firmly against in-state tuition for undocumented students until he wasn’t. The governor was also a supporter of Common Core curriculum, until he wasn’t.

In the case of Common Core, he claimed it was federal overreach, right after the tea party’s tap on his shoulder.

Crist’s record on the issues as a moderate — even when he was Republican — and devotion to the state of Florida give him an edge in the eyes of the Herald.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.