(CNN) - It was the Republican candidate for Senate in Florida that received frontrunner treatment at a debate Wednesday night.
Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio was attacked by the two other candidates running for Senate, Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek.
(CNN) - Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Florida Democratic Senate nominee, sounded defiant on Friday when he called his Republican-turned-Independent opponent, Gov. Charlie Crist, "sad," and his Republican opponent Marco Rubio, "extreme."
"What has to happen in the days forward is that we share with Floridians the extreme views of Marco Rubio," Meek said in an interview with CNN Situation Room Anchor Wolf Blitzer. "We're going to get down to the nitty gritty on who Marco Rubio is. Marco Rubio got his birth from a very extreme group of individuals."
(CNN) - Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek's latest ad requires no fact check.
That's because it's composed of seven video clips of Gov. Charlie Crist touting his conservative credentials and aligning himself with George W. Bush and Sarah Palin.
The Democratic gubernatorial nominee's ad features no narrator and no graphics. The words "How conservative is Charlie Crist?" dissolve on screen at the top of the ad, followed by clips of Crist speaking in television interviews, press conferences and debates.
(CNN) - A new poll out of Florida offers the state's three Senate candidates some feedback on the effectiveness of their campaigns–but none of it is good for Charlie Crist.
The state's Republican-turned-independent governor is trailing Republican Marco Rubio by a 40-28 point margin among likely voters, according to a Mason-Dixon poll released Saturday. Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek has advanced five points in the last month to 23 percent.
Those five points have come at the expense of Crist, who has dropped five points since the same poll was conducted in August. Rubio has gained two points in the last 30 days.
(CNN) – A Florida appeals court Wednesday struck down a state law barring gay men and lesbians from adoption on the basis of equal protection under law.
The Florida 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court ruling that Florida's explicit ban was unconstitutional, noting that the state's adoption law required officials to assess potential adoptive parents in "the best interests of the child."
"By the time of the trial below, the application of the statutory ban was contrary to both the professional judgment of the Department and the legislative directive to assure 'the best interest of the child' in 'every' adoption," wrote Judge Cindy S. Lederman in the 42-page ruling.
(CNN) – There's no doubt Gov. Charlie Crist has high name recognition in Florida, but voters there may still may have a problem finding his name on the ballot come November.
That's because Crist, running as an independent candidate for Senate, will appear in the ninth position out of 10 candidates on the ballot, appearing between other party-less hopefuls Rick Tyler and Lewis Jerome Armstrong, according to the Florida Secretary of State's office.
That's because Florida law mandates the two major parties appear first followed by minor-party candidates. Candidates, like Crist, who are not running under the banner of any particular party, appear last. Of the candidates without a party, the order is determined by when the candidate filed. Crist was running as a Republican until late last spring and so was among the last candidates to file as an independent.
"It's an issue, obviously," Crist told reporters Wednesday.
(CNN) - On a recent muggy evening in Miami Beach, members of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party gathered in a drab room at the city's Botanical Gardens to phone bank for Rep. Kendrick Meek, their party's nominee for United State Senate.
A young organizer for the Meek campaign clutched a microphone and offered guidance to the activists, who sat around tables perusing call scripts and nibbling on store-bought cupcakes.
"How many of you are familiar who's on the Democratic ballot?," he asked, somewhat nervously. Of the roughly fifty people in the room, just four raised their hands.
The moment encapsulated a broader problem for Meek and his party in the unprecedented three-way race for Senate in Florida.
Democrats this year lack the kind of grassroots energy that drove huge turnout in 2008 when Barack Obama ran for president, an enthusiasm gap on display in the state's August 24 primary, when 1.25 million Republicans cast ballots in their gubernatorial primary compared with 900,000 Democrats who voted in their Senate primary.
Bradenton, Florida (CNN) – Hoping to capitalize on voter discontent with both political parties, Charlie Crist launched two new statewide television ads Monday casting himself as an independent voice who will take "the best ideas" from both parties.
But one of the new ads is a clear appeal to Democrats, a slice of the electorate Crist must tap into if he has any hopes of capturing a U.S. Senate seat in November.
The ad, "Cross the Line," shows Crist walking along the Florida shoreline and touting his veto against a teacher merit pay bill earlier this year, his support for stem cell research and his acceptance of federal stimulus money - all positions that have won him praise from Democrats and scorn from Republicans.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida (CNN) – There was supposed to be a $50 million elephant in the room when Rick Scott addressed an audience of Florida Republican elites on Friday as the party's gubernatorial nominee.
That's the amount Scott, formerly the CEO of the country's largest private health-care chain, shelled out during his four-month primary battle against Bill McCollum.
The race quickly spiraled into negativity as both candidates traded charges, mostly via the state's expensive television air waves, about each other's character. McCollum, still stinging, has not yet endorsed Scott.
But at the Florida GOP's quarterly meeting, held at a pair of Disney World hotels on Friday and Saturday, there was little outward resentment toward Scott, a first-time candidate who never toiled in the party trenches like McCollum and his party allies.
"There's incredible enthusiasm with all our candidates," asserted Republican Party of Florida chairman John Thrasher, who feuded publicly with Scott during the primary over a television ad criticizing the state party. "Rick Scott and I have a great relationship."
St. Petersburg, Florida (CNN) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday called this weekend’s planned Quran burning in Gainesville “deplorable” but said there is little he can do to stop the protest.
“We have freedom of speech at work here, but I think common decency would dictate that this would not occur and that we would be respectful and are a respectful people of all religions,” Crist told reporters during a tour of a Veterans Affairs facility in St. Petersburg.
The governor said he had attempted to contact Pastor Terry Jones, the man behind the protest, to dissuade him from moving forward, but has so far been unsuccessful. He said he left messages with one of the church’s associate pastors, Stephanie Sapp.