Florida Gubernatorial Candidates Hold Back Punches for Friendly Debate

Republicans Tom Gallagher and Charlie Crist are joining Democrats Jim Davis and Rod Smith on the 22nd floor of the Capitol.

Attorney General Crist claims the law and order mantle. Davis says he can clean up the political quagmire in Tallahassee.

Gallagher portrays himself as the family man in the race, and state Sen. Smith says he’s the Democrat who can attract crossover voters.

Rod Smith, (D) Gainesville, says, “I’m in this race for really two simple reasons because I believe in the end I can win, and because I believe I’ll make a difference when I do."

Tom Gallagher, Florida Chief Financial Officer, says, "Strong families build the leaders of tomorrow, strong families keep down the cost of government, and strong families provide something that government can’t, and that’s love and support that children need."

Jim Davis, (D) Tampa, U.S. Congressman, says, "Because I think that ideology, partisan politics and special interests are dominating this wonderful state capitol in ways we have not seen in decades."

Charlie Crist adds, "As governor, I'll have three main priorities: keeping Floridians safe, providing every child with the opportunity to receive a first class education, keeping Florida government lean and efficient."

The candidates were speaking to a group of editors and reporters from across the state. This is only the second time all four major candidates for governor have engaged in a debate.