TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich isn't waiting for the presidential election to be over before setting her sights on challenging Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2014.
Rich, 70, of Weston, said she will start traveling the state to raise her name recognition in the coming months and talk to voters about policies like education and health car. She will then most likely make a formal announcement later in the year.
She said she is frustrated with Scott's administration and wants to start the discussion to replace him now instead of waiting until after November's presidential election.
“I just feel that I have different priorities and I feel it's time to have a conversation with the voters about those priorities,'' said Rich, who has said for several months that she's considering a run. “What I'm doing now is I am going to be traveling around the state, what I call a listening tour, and meeting people.''
She's raising money through a political committee, which took in contributions of $37,200 in the first three months of the year. So far her largest contributors have been government employee unions, the owners of the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach, a group that represents trial lawyers and lobbyist Ron Book.
“The focus of everybody's attention is obviously going to be on the presidential election,'' Rich said. “I would tend to think that I would be out there in a more informal way until then, but it's not written in stone.''
Rich was elected to the House in 2000, when she listed her occupation as “professional volunteer.'' She was elected to the Senate in 2004 and is serving her second year as the Democratic leader.
She has been a vocal opponent to many of Scott's policies, from cuts to Medicaid, efforts to privatize prisons, a plan to drug test Welfare recipients and changes to public education.
She serves on the Broward County Children's Services Board and has been involved with several community organizations. Before being elected to the Legislature she served as the president of the National Council of Jewish Women.