On Tuesday, November 4th Floridians will go to the polls to select their governor. Currently there are thirty-two active candidates running. The gubernatorial race is the only statewide race in Florida. So what will make one of these candidates standout from the crowded field? If a recent election is any indicator, the defining issue will be – education – specifically Common Core State Standards (CCSS). People are rising up in Florida and across the country to stop Common Core. As George Will wrote, “Viewed from Washington, opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative still seems as small as the biblical cloud that ariseth out of the sea, no larger than a man’s hand. Soon, however, this education policy will fill a significant portion of the political sky.”
Chris Quackenbush in her column Common Core: The Chain of Betrayal notes, “Political battles are now being won and lost on the education issue as in the Florida Congressional District 19, where an ‘outsider’ Curt Clawson, beat sitting State Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benaquisto by 12 points largely because of her duplicity on Common Core. Her conservative base was not fooled by her superficial conversion after sponsoring a bill in 2013 to implement Common Core as she is allied with Jeb Bush. His tentacles reach far in Florida where he is a major donor and supporter of many State Legislators including Governor Scott.”
Quackenbush states, “Common Core is the final nail in the coffin of American Exceptionalism.” That’s how heated the debate has become in Florida.
Associated Press reporter Thomas Beaumont wrote, “Raising U.S. educational expectations through national goals was a priority for Republican President George W. Bush. But many of his would-be successors in the GOP are calling for just the opposite of government-set rules, and it’s splitting the party as the GOP class of 2016 presidential hopefuls takes shape.” Common Core is splitting the party between those who support Jeb Bush and those who support parents, teachers, administrators, academics and citizens who favor keeping local control of education.
While Florida Democrats want to focus on income equality, the minimum wage, legalizing marijuana and abortion rights, and the Republican Party of Florida focused on the economy, jobs and tax reform, the defining issue remains public education.
Will the Florida race for governor in 2014 be a harbinger for the 2016 race for president? Those interested in a winning formula will, by all indications, be keeping a close eye on Florida on November 4th.
Candidates for Florida Governor
|Gibson, Kyle Chaderwick (NPA)||Active|
|Adeshina, Yinka Abosede (REP)||Active|
|Allen, Joe (NPA)||Active|
|Anderson, Rubin Lewis (NPA)||Active|
|Angiolillo, Vincent Dominic (REP)||Active|
|Crist, Charlie (DEM)||Active|
|Cuevas-Neunder, Elizabeth (REP)||Active|
|Devine, Timothy Michael (REP)||Active|
|Fraleigh, James Edward (INT)||Active|
|Gazetas, Vassilia (NPA)||Active|
|Giger, Herman Lee (NPA)||Active|
|Griffis, Mark D. (NPA)||Active|
|Horwath, Jefferson L. (NPA)||Active|
|Khavari, Farid A (NPA)||Active|
|Lee, Monroe (DEM)||Active|
|Lipner, Ryan Adam (DEM)||Active|
|Martelly, Marcelle (DEM)||Active|
|McCoy, Roland (DEM)||Active|
|Murray, Paul (WRI)||Active|
|Reed, C. C. (NPA)||Active|
|Rich, Nan H. (DEM)||Active|
|Rolle, Leonard (NPA)||Active|
|Samuel, Berthram B. (REP)||Active|
|Scott, Richard L. (REP) *Incumbent||Active|
|Smith, Dr. Joe (REP)||Active|
|Smith, John Wayne (LPF)||Active|
|Stewart, Jessica Lana (DEM)||Active|
|Tolbert, Charles Frederick (NPA)||Active|
|Trujillo, Lesther (NPA)||Active|
|Wyllie, Adrian (LPF)||Active|
|Yarrow, Atlee David (SPF)||Active|
|Zapata, Randy (DEM)||Active|
Active candidate list courtesy of the Sarasota Supervisor of Elections.