By JAVIER MANJARRESThe ever-evolving political chameleon, Charlie Crist, came out swinging at Governor Rick Scott during his gubernatorial campaign announcement. He claimed that Scott had become a Tallahassee insider, who is beholden to the same “big business, big contributors,” and “big lobbyists” that Crist once had in his pocket during his term as Governor.
Rick Scott is far from being a Tallahassee elitist, but if he picks someone like Senator John Thrasher, a former lobbyist who has admitted to twice violating state ethics rules, to be his Lieutenant Governor, Scott will be forced to defend the indefensible label of Tallahassee insider.
Unfortunately for Scott, a couple of these Tallahassee insiders,who are whispering political sweet nothings in his ear. They are also pushing Thrasher. which is really peculiar, considering that the smart move would be for Scott to pick a minority Lt. Governor since Florida has one of the fastest growing minority populations in the country.
Scott will need to be able to reach across to the different minority communities, including the Black community, as well as the growing and much sought after Hispanic voting bloc, if he expects to win re-election against Crist, who is widely expected to have the advantage with minorities.
Scott needs to be the inclusive governor.
So who could Scott reach out and tap as Lt. Governor, that would give him the best chance of garnering the growing minority vote,?
Several names come to mind, including former Republican House Majority Leaders, Carlos Lopez Cantera, and Adam Hasner.
Lopez Cantera is Cuban-American, and fluent in Spanish, while Hasner, who has run a statewide race before, could help ‘ice’ some Independent and Democrat Jewish voters in South Florida.Then there are Senator Anitere Flores and Representative Jeanette Nunez, who are both of Cuban descent, both very popular among their constituents, and would help reach out to Hispanics around the state.
One name that comes to mind, and has not been mentioned before, is retired Air Force Colonel, Evelio Otero. Otero, who like Flores, Nunez, and Lopez-Cantera, is bilingual, and would help with any Hispanic-inclusion campaign, especially reaching out to the Puerto Rican community.
Evelio Otero, who was born in Puerto Rican to a Cuban father and Puerto Rican mother, has recently said that he is interested in running for Congress, but has not been asked if he would ever consider a state level elected or appointed position.
Scott needs to think diversity and inclusion when he picks his next Lt. Governor and running mate, or the road to re-election will become that much more difficult for him than what it already is.“Like and share” the story. Tell us what you think, leave a comment below