Wednesday, April 20, 2005


The St. Petersburg Times' political columnist Adam C. Smith has an interesting piece today regarding the Democratic campaign for governor, and the fact that the party's state chairman, former Tallahassee mayor Scott Maddox, seems to be falling farther and farther behind the 8-ball before his campaign even begins.

Maddox will resign his party position at the end of the current Legislative session and will run for "a statewide office". While he has not actually said which office he will seek, it is widely believed that he had planned to enter the gubernatorial race.

He may want to seriously consider the Attorney General's position instead, or that of Chief Financial Officer.

The two main announced contenders have already raised significant funds toward their campaigns. State Senator Rod Smith of Alachua has a war chest of approximately $350,000, while U.S. Congressman Jim Davis of Tampa has around $420,000. Those are big bucks this early in the race, and Maddox should be concerned if he plans to run for the state's top job.

Maddox has excellent fundraising ability, as his work for the state Democratic Party has shown. But for his own campaign, that may be another story the longer he stays on the sideline. He could possibly do especially well in the traditionally liberal areas of South Florida around Miami/Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, where Smith and Davis may be seen as too centrist.

I plan to hear all three gentelmen next Friday evening, when they will appear on the same dais for the first time during the campaign at the Polk County Democratic Party's Jackson-Jefferson Dinner in Lakeland. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson will deliver the keynote address. For information, call (863) 646-2404.


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