Six months from now, we elect a new governor. The race between Republican Bill McCollum and Democrat Alex Sink started as a toss-up. Recent polling indicates that McCollum, a charmless perennial candidate who has lost more elections than he has won, has opened up a 10-point lead.
Sink just fired her campaign manager, but there was further evidence of her strategic missteps at an April 5 fundraising event at Hamburger Mary’s in downtown Orlando. At the reception, sponsored by LGBT and friendly supporters, Sink reportedly delivered her standard stump speech about fiscal responsibility and never once used the word “gay.” She raised a tepid $2,500; last year, a campaign event for much the same crowd brought in ten times that amount.
Although I was unable to attend, I was on the host committee for the Hamburger Mary’s event. I have tremendous respect for Sink, and I think she has the skills to be an extraordinary governor. I will vote for her, and so should you. But the next six months will determine whether I cast my vote with enthusiasm or with a sigh.
Politicians lead as they campaign. In a state with a plurality of registered Democrats, but a strong Republican legislative majority, Sink must connect with the people to govern effectively.
Here’s what I want to hear in her next speech:
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