Brutal look at FL Gov. race
August 11, 2006
From Dr. Larry Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia:
If you hate “the politics of personal destruction” and unpleasant private issues that seep into campaigns, then Florida is one state you do not want to be these days. Three of the four gubernatorial candidates in both parties are spending time talking about their painful marital pasts.
Hardest hit has been the GOP’s *Tom Gallagher*, whose first marriage ended very badly and let to charges of theft, drug use, and, well, let’s just stop there.
His Republican opponent, *Charlie Crist*, had one brief marriage must earlier in life, and his lack of a family has led to scurrilous rumors about his sexual orientation which have plagued his campaign for months.
Add Democrat *Rod Smith* to the list of messy divorces, and throw in an old accusation of unpaid child support.
Smith’s Democratic foe, Congressman *Jim Davis*, is the only one of the gubernatorial quartet with a happy, enduring first marriage.
Will any of this matter come the primaries or the general? If the candidates and the press keep talking about it, probably so.