All eyes on Florida: Senatorial and governor races continue

All eyes on Florida: Senatorial and governor races continue

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT

Florida Republican lieutenant governor nominee Jennifer Carroll, right, gets an embrace from GOP gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott during a rally at the Beardall Senior Center near downtown Orlando, Florida, Thursday, September 2, 2010.

Marianna Sotomayor, Political Editor, AP Lit Set 6

 With the mid-term elections well underway, Floridians are gearing up for another stirring election season. The countless political campaign commercials on TV are proof enough.

Unlike previous elections, Florida is in the midst of both a Senatorial and Governor’s race. Although the candidates divide  between party lines, all candidates are focusing on Florida’s main problems: jobs and the economy, the housing market, and the environment. With a Democrat and Republican racing for the coveted Governor’s seat, and a Democrat, Republican, and Independent pursuing a spot as Floridian Senator, Florida voters may soon witness a shift in political power.

With already a Floridian Democratic senator seat filled in the 111th Congress, one available position remains open for  a Democrat, Republican, or Independent.  According to the recent Rasmussen Report, Republican nominee Marco Rubio is leading the race with 40% as a result to his fierce campaign and tactics. With a strong conservative platform, Rubio advocates to cut and reestablish several taxation laws and promises to lead with a smaller government approach to government, a concept senior Alexa Parisey agrees with. “Floridians are able to take care of themselves with minimal help from the government. I believe the Republican candidate [Rubio] will be able to maintain a balanced government and help people’s independence more so than the Democratic candidates.”

As for the Democratic candidates, Kendrick Meek is trailing behind Rubio at 21%. Although a new household name, Meek hopes to lead Florida through his liberal proposals. As Senator, Meek looks forward to cutting taxes for the middle class, proposing new legislation banning off shore drilling in Florida’s coasts, further implement the new Health Care reform, and working with Floridians on other pressing issues such as the housing market.

Currently, present Floridian Governor Charlie Christ is the median between the senatorial candidates in both the polls and political principles. At 30%, recently donned Independent candidate Christ advocates that he is the “Best of both” parties in his new political TV ad campaign, but is slow in convincing his former Republican party to vote for him. Although passing several legislations, for example,  the New Market Development Program, which decreased taxes for small businesses, Christ is currently receiving only 19% of support from his former party, according to.

Alexa Parisey interjects her conservative views on Christ’s switch:“We need to eliminate career politicians. What I mean by this is that Charlie Christ changed his political agenda in order to win, not for the betterment of Floridians.”

On the ladder, senior Democrat Paige Schaefer views Christ “As a liberal conservative, he [Christ] has a great balance.” Many voters support Christ’s independent stance, for they feel he can represent both political parties’ views with equal fervor. With conservative and liberal voters crossing party lines, only time will tell if the Independent Christ can beat the leading Republican Rubio and Democratic Meek in the mid-term elections.

As a result of Charlie Christ’s Senate bid, his current governor position is available for election. Reigning victorious from the recent primary elections are Democratic candidate Alex Sink and Republican nominee Rick Scott. Both candidates are close in recent polls; according to a CNN/ Times poll, Alex Sink is superseding Rick Scott by a close seven-point margin. Sink’s 49% approval rating is attributed to her devout South Floridian, urban living, liberal, and independent supporters who agree with her consistent liberal policies. Sink plans to create new jobs through expanding and stabilizing small businesses, building a stronger foundation in early education, diminishing foreclosure rates, and cracking down on illegal immigrants. Unlike many other candidates, Sink hopes to implement a new energy policy that will renew energy production and manufacturing, ultimately creating “Green collar jobs.”

“I think Alex Sink would be a great governor, and I especially like her view on ‘greening’ Florida,” reassures Schaefer. “She holds the same values I do in education, the environment, and the economy.”

Beating popular Republican candidate Bill McCollum in the primary elections, Rick Scott currently attracts 42% of Floridian voters. Recently choosing Jennifer Carroll as his running mate, Scott hopes that both their conservative values can transcend towards improving Florida. Each advocates smaller government, personal freedom, and hope to establish jobs by “Getting to work,” as his campaign slogan states. As governor, Scott plans to decrease high taxes, find a reasonable way to reverse “Obamacare,” as well as implement a law similar to the infamous Arizona law, which allows law enforcement to question someone’s legal status by their questionable actions. Amidst various political scandals including Medicare fraud, many Republican voters are inconclusive in supporting their party’s nominee.

“He is an excellent businessman, which may be what Florida’s economy needs, but I do have some concerns about his principles and ethics,” states Parisey.

No different from previous Floridian elections, 2010 governor and congressional races are close and unpredictable. With many candidates who voice similar ideals through different proposals, it is the voters’ responsibility to stay informed and learn about each candidate’s position without the influence of negative commercials. Once Florida citizens establish their positions on current issues and align these with compatible candidates, they must take the time to go vote, for it is the only way we can voice our deepest concerns and values for Florida. This election is important for it will determine Florida’s future and ultimately answer the issues that are restricting this state from economic and social prosperity.