Already, at least six candidates are considering running against Rick Scott.
About: Rich, term-limited out of the Senate, was the first Democrat to enter the race, announcing her candidacy in April. During her four years in the state House (2000-04) and eight years in the state Senate, she earned a reputation as a passionate advocate for Florida’s children, seniors and people with disabilities. She says she plans to focus much of her campaign on education, which she says has been a “major failing” of the governor, and health care.
Pluses: Rich’s early entry into the race gives her plenty of time to continue building statewide name recognition — something she’s been working on as she crisscrosses the state talking to Democratic clubs and organizations.
Minuses: Though popular in Broward County, Rich faces an uphill battle in terms of name recognition and could easily be overshadowed by other more prominent names. Fundraising could be an issue: She’s raised only $155,000 so far.
About: In February, Sink told the Tampa Bay Times that she’s considering running against Scott again. Her role as a senior adviser to Hyde Capital Partners and work with her public policy foundation, the Florida Next Foundation, provide her with opportunity to maintain a network of statewide contacts.
Pluses: Sink lost by just 61,550 votes (1.2%) in 2010 and still has statewide name recognition. A former banker, she may be able to highlight her business background more comfortably as the financial crisis recedes.
Minuses: Her lackluster campaign in 2010 — MSNBC branded her the year’s worst candidate — may leave her with an uphill battle in convincing Democratic voters that she’s the best hope for defeating Scott.
About: Since leaving the state Senate, Gelber has criticized Scott as “the worst governor in modern history” but hasn’t said whether he’ll run for governor himself. He recently started his own law firm, Gelber Schachter & Greenberg, in downtown Miami.
Pluses: Gelber is respected for his intelligence and has a passionate streak that could help energize the Democratic base.
Minuses: Despite his strong debate performance and solid fundraising in his 2010 race against Pam Bondi for attorney general, Gelber couldn’t overcome the conservative political tide. Like Rich, Gelber is known in south Florida but still faces a name recognition challenge in other parts of the state.