Candidacies On Hold As Democrats Wonder: What Will Alex Sink Do? Or Charlie Crist?

Feb 14, 2013

AWAITING ALEX SINK'S DECISION: Nan Rich, Dan Gelber, Jack Seiler, Manny Diaz and Buddy Dyer.

Former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink now has what she desperately needed in 2012 when she ran for governor against Rick Scott and lost: name recognition.

And that may be why a handful of the state's top Democrats are waiting to see what Sink will do in 2014 before they decide to become candidates for governor. Sink didn't run an impressive campaign but she didn't lose by much and the thinking is that a little more name recognition might have made the difference.

DECIDERS: What Alex Sink and Charlie Crist decide to do in 2016 may determine the future for at east five other Democrats.

True, it’s not just Sink who gives them all pause, according to a story in the National Journal. Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist is another mystery.

Crist, who changed his registration from independent to Democrat in December, also has expressed interest in the race.

Florida-based Democratic strategist Steve Schale said the primary field "begins and ends" with Crist. Democratic strategist Kevin Akins agreed, adding that the question looming over the Democratic field is whether there is "going to be one major viable alternative to Crist."

And that alternative may well be Alex Sink. She told the Journal she won't run unless she's sure she can win this time. Sink is still mourning her husband, Bill McBride, who also ran for governor unsuccessfully for governor as a Democrat. He died in December and Sink says he was  still encouraging her to run again. She says she expects her political plans to come together over the next six months.

So, that's six months of suspense for the other possible contenders, former state Senators Dan Gelber and Nan Rich, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, and mayors Jack Seiler of Fort Lauderdale and Buddy Dyer of Orlando.