[UPDATE] Sink, Scott Running Close in Florida Governor's Race

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

[UPDATE] 10-21 10:57AM --

Miami, Florida (AP) --

Former President Bill Clinton is urging college students to vote for the Democratic nominee for governor, Alex Sink.

Sink is locked in a tight, rancorous race with wealthy
Republican Rick Scott.

At a Miami community college Thursday, October 21, Clinton said Scott's
campaign is resorting to name-calling and Republican scaremongering
instead of planning for Florida's economic future.

He credited Sink with saving hundreds of millions of taxpayers'
dollars as Florida's chief financial officer by streamlining state
agencies and reinvesting the money in education and other public
programs.

Clinton also campaigned this week on college campuses for
Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek, whose Senate campaign is struggling
to catch Republican Marco Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist, running as
an independent.

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[UPDATE] 10-15 8:53AM --

Miami, Florida (AP) --

Arizona and its new immigration law were hot topics during Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary, but with the general election looming, Arizona and immigration have all but disappeared from the campaign.

The change? GOP candidate Rick Scott needs support from
Florida's Hispanic voters, who make up 13 percent of the electorate
and have an antenna for rhetoric that smacks of racial profiling.

Republicans are betting short memories, high unemployment and
uncertainty about President Barack Obama's health care law will
overshadow the earlier campaign.

And they hope Senate candidate Marco Rubio will draw Hispanics
otherwise on the fence. Rubio backs the Arizona law, though not in
Florida. He often speaks eloquently about his own parents'
struggles as Cuban exiles.

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[UPDATE] 10/13 7:45AM --

Democrat Alex Sink has gained ground against Republican Rick Scott in the race for Governor since October first. The Quinnipiac poll of likely voters has the race as a dead heat, 44 for Sink to Scott's 45%, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the race could hinge on who the public believes did better in private business.

Quinnipiac says Sink is up one percent since October first, while Scott is down four points.

"The difference is independents. Independents we're leaning to Mr. Scott in the last poll. Now, they seem to be leaning more to Ms Sink.”

Pollster Peter Brown says the race may come down to who voters believe did a better job in private business.

"Almost nine out of ten Florida likely voters say that they think how someone behaved in business is very or somewhat important".

The poll numbers may also explain why Sink launched this two minute ad about Scott's business dealings.

"A whistle blower revealed that Scott's company was cooking the books. Refusing to cooperate, Rick Scott gave a deposition in which he invoked the Fifth Amendment 75 times".

The poll numbers did not surprise Sink, who in her day job as CFO, rejected 190 thousand dollars in lavish spending on a Tallahassee courthouse dubbed the “Taj Mahal.”

"This is imported African Mahogany. There are twenty miles of this mahogany in this building." Sink said.

"The poll also suggests that your perception of the economy on the day you vote could turn the race".

If you think its getting better, you are likely to support Sink. But right now those numbers are in the minority.

"More people think the economy is getting worse than think the economy is getting better."

The poll says 86 percent have made up their mind, but that 13 percent, equally split between Sink and Scott, might change their minds.

Attorney General Bill McCollum, who lost the GOP primary to Rick Scott still has not endorsed Scott, but says he is moving closer to voting for the former health care executive.

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[UPDATE] 10/12 8:04AM --

Tallahassee, Florida (AP) --

A new poll shows Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink's attacks on Republican Rick Scott's business history appear to be paying off as she has almost caught him in their increasingly rancorous campaign.

Three weeks before Election Day, the two are about even a
Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday, October 12, with Scott at 45 percent and Sink favored by 44 percent.

The survey of 1,055 likely Florida voters taken between Oct.
6-10 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Just two weeks ago, Scott was up 49 percent to 43 percent in a
Quinnipiac poll.

Sink has attacked Scott about his tenure at the Columbia/HCA
hospital chain. The hospital paid the largest Medicare fraud
settlement in history.

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[UPDATE] 10/11 5:21PM --

Tampa, Florida (AP) --

Florida's Democratic candidate for governor, Alex Sink, is rolling out a rare two-minute TV ad slamming Republican nominee Rick Scott for a massive fraud scandal at his former hospital company.

Scott won the GOP primary despite constant criticism over the
federal Medicare investigation at Columbia/HCA, the hospital
conglomerate he founded. He was forced out as CEO by his board, and
the company eventually paid a record $1.7 billion to settle
charges.

Sink's campaign said the ad is running once during evening
newscasts Wednesday in the Tampa Bay market only, but it may run in
other markets later.

Scott's campaign said in a statement that Sink is "repackaging
old, tired attacks that failed to resonate with Floridians in the
primary."

--------------------------------

[UPDATE] 10/11 4:38PM --

Sanford, Florida (AP) --

Rick Scott is trying to show that not everyone in the state's law enforcement community is standing with opponent Alex Sink.

The Republican candidate for governor appeared at a rally backed
by 11 Florida county sheriffs and a prosecutor Monday, Oct. 11 in Sanford to counter TV ads suggesting that Democrat Sink has all the support from the state law enforcement, whose major unions have endorsed her.

Also Monday, Sink's campaign rolled out a new two-minute ad
slamming Scott for the massive Medicare fraud at his former
hospital corporation.

The ad will air at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Tampa Bay market. The
campaign says it may run in more markets later. Campaign staff
wouldn't talk about how much it cost.

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[UPDATE] 10/7 2:43PM --

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott has a message for Democrat Alex Sink and her new ad campaign questioning his trustworthiness.

He says "If we want to talk about trust, I have a whole litany
of things we can talk about."

That was Scott's message after addressing the Forum Club on
Thursday in West Palm Beach.

Scott has put out a new ad attempting to link Sink to
questionable sales practices at a securities company affiliated
with the bank she once headed. He says the attacks in that ad are
"just plain truth."

The two candidates face off in their first debate Friday.

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West Palm Beach, Florida (AP) --

Alex Sink is touting the backing of the two main unions representing Florida law enforcement officers.

The Democratic candidate for governor appeared in West Palm
Beach on Wednesday, October 6 at the Florida Police Benevolent Association, which has endorsed her. She has also been backed by the Florida State Fraternal Order of Police.

The PBA last endorsed a Democrat for governor in 1990. FOP
hasn't endorsed a Democrat since 1994.

The ad wars are also heating up in Florida's race for governor.

Democrat Alex Sink released advertisements Wednesday featuring
police and prosecutors repeatedly questioning the trustworthiness
of her Republican opponent Rick Scott.

The law enforcement figures appearing in the two television
spots -- including two Republicans -- hammer Scott for massive fraud
that occurred under his watch while leading the Columbia/HCA health
care company.

That follows the release of an ad by the state Republican Party
attempting to link Sink to questionable sales practices at a
securities company affiliated with the bank she headed, and blaming
her for losses in the state's pension fund.


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