Tampa’s La Gaceta newspaper endorses Charlie Crist for governor

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La Gaceta, the venerable trilingual Tampa newspaper based in Ybor City, is endorsing Democrat Charlie Crist for Governor.

In the current issue, publisher Patrick Manteiga writes that although former state Sen. Nan Rich is “certainly qualified to hold the office of governor of Florida,” she cannot win in November.

“She has served this state without scandal,” Manteiga says. “She’s a good Democrat and an advocate for Democratic ideals.”

He notes that Rich’s monetary obstacle is too great and name recognition is too low. Whoever runs against Republican Gov. Rick Scott, one thing is sure – the incumbent will launch a smear campaign that “could turn Mother Teresa into Leona Helmsley.”

Democrats need to win, Manteiga says. That is why La Gaceta supports Charlie Crist, is for issues such as “a woman’s right to choose, DREAMers being able to receive driver’s licenses, Common Core, a higher minimum wage, the expansion of Obamacare in Florida, high speed rail and the protection of seniors.”

Although some of those positions are “new” to Crist, many are more concerned with how he will vote in 2015 than how he had voted in 2008.

“We are also fearful of four more years of Rick Scott as governor,” he says, adding that the Democrat who “has a chance to defeat this evil” is Crist.

Manteiga warns that if Floridians do not elect Crist, millions will go without healthcare, and high-speed rail to connect Tampa with Orlando.

Women’s reproductive rights will “continue to erode,” and the “Tea Party hyperbole” will trump science and “the poor will continue to get poorer.”

“Florida needs a change,” he concludes.

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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.