Florida’s governor’s race will be a nationally watched contest between unpopular Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who won office during the tea party surge and now advocates for more government spending, and former Gov. Charlie Crist, who used to call himself a Ronald Reagan Republican and now cozies up to President Barack Obama. And it will be brutal.
Here are five things Florida voters should know about the upcoming campaign:
Scott has already spent more than $20 million on television ads — most of them criticizing Republican-turned-Democrat Crist for taking different sides on major issues ranging from health care to gay rights. And despite Crist’s reputation as a nice guy, his campaign has also been negative as he’s constantly attacked Scott by reminding voters that the former hospital chain CEO ran a company that paid a $1.7 billion settlement for Medicaid fraud. Crist has held on to most of his money until after the primary, while Scott has spent millions trying to catch up in the polls. The air war will intensify even more over the next two months.