Kudos to the Sunshine State News’ Nancy Smith for getting what will certainly be considered one of the biggest scoops of 2012: Bob Graham, all 78 years old of him, will not be running for Governor in 2014.
Despite increasing speculation that Bob Graham is mapping out a run against Rick Scott in 2014, the former U.S. senator and two-term governor emphatically denied he has any further personal interest in the governor’s office.
“No way,” Graham told Sunshine State News on Tuesday. “I have no intention of running for office again. I’ve had my last campaign.”
I’m not exactly sure what Smith considers “increasing speculation” because that could literally mean two people, instead of just one person, were speculating Graham would run for governor in 2014.
So I Googled “Bob Graham” or “Bob Graham + 2014” or any other incarnation of ‘Bob Graham may run for governor in 2014’ and did not find a single link to any “speculation”, save what Smith reported today.
Of course, Smith quotes a “political consultant’s assistant” (whatever thankless job that is) who, at the dinner table, said “Bob Graham has been so visible lately. He’s been up here (from Miami) more than once and he’s always looking for the cameras. He’s running, no question about it.”
My sources, which include a lobbyist’s dry cleaner and a Republican Party of Florida janitor, tell me that a sigh of relief was heard from Governor Rick Scott upon learning that Graham would not be challenging him in 2014.
Smith’s earth-shattering report has also prompted a cavalcade of other denials and rumors from other possible gubernatorial candidates. Former Governor Reuben Askew released a statement confirming that he would not be challenging Scott in 2014.
However, Buddy McKay played coy when questioned if he was laying the groundwork for a possible run. “I actually served as Governor for a few days in 1999,” McKay reminded reporters, “and I sorta got use to being called Governor, instead of Lieutenant Governor. It makes for much nicer stationery.”