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RPOF Takes Special Interest in Nan Rich, Blasts Charlie Crist Along the Way

June 10, 2013 - 6:00pm

The Republican Party of Florida has taken a special interest in former state Senator and dark horse gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich, and its giving Rich a lot of publicity she may not have received otherwise. Now the RPOF wants to free Nan Rich.

On Tuesday, Party Chairman Lenny Curry sent out an email blast addressed to Rich. In the email, Curry detailed several talking points Nan Rich could make in her speech on Tuesday night at the West Palm Beach Democratic Club -- many of them about her potential opponent in the Democratic primary, Charlie Crist.

Curry urged Rich to speak about the former governors inconsistent record on Tuesday evening. Credibility is based upon what actions you have taken, not what actions you will take in the future, said Curry. Your speech tonight is a perfect opportunity to point out some items in Crist's record versus your consistent championing of liberal ideology.

The RPOF has made Rich the subject of many email blasts over the past few weeks. Theyve particularly focused on the snub from Richs own party by not allowing her to speak at its annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner June 15. The Florida Democratic Partys vice-chair Annette Taddeo-Goldstein said it wasnt personal toward Rich -- the party just didnt want donors to get bored with too many speakers.

As of Tuesday, Rich was still not scheduled to speak at the event.

The RPOFs coaching has extended beyond the email blast. Theres even a Twitter hashtag campaignto Free Nan Rich, appropriately hashtagged #FreeNanRich.On top of the Twitter campaign, the RPOF also initiated a series of robo-calls to Democrats to urge them to "Free Nan Rich" and allow her to speak at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner this Saturday.

Rich and the RPOF have been playing up the former state senators liberal credentials to earn distinction in the 2014 gubernatorial race. Shes been on the campaign trail since 2012, but shes already had struggles. She hasn't been ableto raise substantial amounts of money yet, and shes not showing much headway in the polls, either.

On top of that, Rich also suffers from lack of notoriety. A Public Policy Polling survey found that Rich is unknown to most Floridians despite her 12 years in the Legislature and having run for governor for the last 11 months. While 8 percent of those surveyed saw her favorably and 18 percent saw her as unfavorable, a whopping 74 percent dont know enough about her to have an opinion.

But the RPOF has been cradling Nan Rich and it appears to be fighting tooth and nail to get Rich some attention and force the public to pay attention to her, either to pummel into the ground potential candidate Charlie Crist and his campaign, to shame the Democratic Party, or to make Nan Rich a real contender in the 2014 race.

Rich is currently the only declared Democratic candidate for the 2014 gubernatorial race.

Theres been lots of speculation about Crist making a second go at the governors seat in 2014, but Crist has not yet confirmed if hes actually running for office.Earlier polls suggested if he were pitted against Gov. Rick Scott in 2014, Crist would easily win the race.

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at

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