Florida Governor's Race: Davis Picks Jones as Running Mate

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jim Davis chose former Miami State Senator Daryl Jones as his running mate.

Daryl Jones was considered a smart, independent thinker by both Democrats and Republicans during the 12 years he served in the state legislature. The air force fighter pilot is also well-known in the key Democratic stronghold of South Florida.

Political Science Professor Lance Dehaven-Smith thinks the fact that Jones is also African American makes him a great choice for Jim Davis’ running mate, and could make this a very close race for governor.

Davis stumbled a bit in the primary when it was revealed that he voted against compensating two wrongly imprisoned African American men. But he’s since apologized.

Jones’s former senate colleague Al Lawson says putting Jones on the ticket tells African American voters Davis does care.

"A lot of issues that they’re concerned about in the minority community and poor community are going to be put on the table and he will have the ear of the governor. Political analysts think Jones’ military background and knowledge of state government will also appeal to non-minority voters."

Daryl Jones ran for governor in 2002, but ended up losing in the three-way primary with Bill McBride and Janet Reno. Still, the race gave him statewide recognition. That recognition will also be critical in raising money to compete against the Republicans in the ad wars in these last weeks before the election.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist also looked to the legislature for his running mate, choosing Cape Coral Representative Jeff Kottkamp Wednesday.