With Gov. Rick Scott proposing to cut taxes by $500 million in the 2014 legislative session, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) is demanding to know if former Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich, the only major Democrat to enter the race so far, will support the idea.
"After all her attacks this past weekend on Rick Scott, will Florida's leading liberal, Nan Rich, stay true to her principles? demanded Lenny Curry, the chairman of the RPOF, on Tuesday. Will she continue her long record against tax cuts and oppose Rick Scott's proposed $500 million tax cut that will help Florida's middle class?"
Despite being in the race since last April, Rich has struggled despite being the only major Democratic candidate to file in the race so far. Still, Rich has been growing increasingly active on the campaign trail in recent weeks and spent a busy Labor Day weekend attending Democratic and union events. She appeared on WUSFs Media Matters radio show last week where she bashed Scotts leadership.
I think the governor should be running the state with an understanding this is not a dictatorship, she said. He believes he doesnt have to talk to the legislators and understand the legislative process.
Rich was asked if she could back further tax cuts, like the ones Scott proposed, and she opposed them to provide state services.
Right now I would say Im talking about how we can provide strong critical public services to people, she said before claiming Scott cut public education and other services. I think you need to look at the services and needs of the state of Florida. We have cut and cut. I think we now have to look at having the proper resources in place to cover these needs and thats what Id be looking at.
Struggling in the polls, Rich has not impressed with her fundraising. By the end of June, she had raised more than $160,350 in cash, relied on more than $34,800 through in-kind donations and spent more than $101,100 -- leaving her with around $59,000 in the bank.
Rich could soon have competition for the Democratic nomination. Among the major candidates who have left the door open to running for that partys nomination are former Gov. Charlie Crist who joined the Democrats in 2012 after serving as a Republican until 2010, former state CFO Alex Sink who lost to Scott in 2010 and even U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., though he has downplayed getting in the race.
Curry and the RPOF have hammered Rich throughout the year for her liberal stances on social and economic issues.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.