Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek is expressing confidence that Florida voters will elect him in November.
Speaking at the 28th annual conference of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida last weekend in Plantation, Meek said attempts by Independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist to woo Democrats won’t work.
Crist is hoping to win over Democratic voters after ditching the Republican Party when he realized he had no chance of beating conservative Republican Marco Rubio in the primary. He is seen as having moderate success in appealing to Democrats.
“I stand firmly to tell you that we’re in a position to win this race, because this race will be between Marco Rubio and myself,” Meek said. “The governor had his chance to beat Marco Rubio and he bailed out.”
CauSpeaking at the 28th annual conference of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida last weekend in Plantation, Meek said attempts by Independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist to woo Democrats won’t work. cus leaders also expressed optimism over Meek’s chances.
“I think Kendrick will become our next U.S. Senator from the state of Florida,” said caucus president Dr. H. Bruce Miles of Tampa.
Ruth Lynch, first vice-chairwoman of the caucus’ Broward County Chapter, said the priority is getting President Barack Obama re-elected in 2012. “But he can’t do anything by himself. He is going to need some help. We need the President to have a senator from Florida to push our Florida agenda.”
The black Democrats also spoke about the selection of Jennifer Carroll as running mate for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott. In interviews, several expressed mixed feelings towards the second black woman to make a bid for lieutenant governor of Florida.
Mary Singleton ran with former Republican Gov. Claude R. Kirk Jr. in 1978 when he attempted a comeback as a Democrat.
Caucus members insisted Carroll will not be a factor in the November elections.
“My issue with Jennifer Carroll even becoming a part of the Rick Scott ticket – a person whose company paid [a fine for] the largest Medicaid fraud in the history of Medicaid and Medicare — I would question her character,” Miles said.
“But we all know that the Republicans play tricks. This was a trick play but it’s definitely going to backfire,” Miles said.
Lynch said as a woman she applauds Carroll but strongly disagrees with her politics.
“Jennifer is a wonderful, wonderful sister. But, first and foremost, I’m a Democrat, a real Democrat. Love her to death but when it comes to my issues, I’m a die-hard Democrat,” Lynch said.
Speaking at the breakfast, Meek said Carroll was picked to counter what he said is the strong candidacy of himself and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink.
“Because of our leadership, others are trying to follow,” Meek said. “Jennifer Carroll never would’ve been selected if it weren’t for me and Alex Sink being on the statewide ballot.”