Three way action seems to be all the rage in Florida politics this year, and now the Governor's race is about to get a some-what high profile third wheel. Lawton "Bud" Chiles III, the son of former Democratic Governor and Senator Lawton Chiles says he plans to run for Governor with no party affiliation.
Naked Politics is dubbing it the potential "Year of the Outsider," which makes no sense considering Florida's other high profile independent is Charlie Crist (who as Governor is certainly not an outsider) and Chiles' recognition boils down to being his father's son. Instead lets call it the year of the political opportunist and primary adverse parties.
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By running as an NPA Chiles will skip a potentially costly primary battle with CFO Alex Sink. In the short run its good news for the Dem establishment, as Sink has been the presumed nominee for about a year. However, if opinion polls in the Senate race are any indication it seems that its Democrats who are more willing to cross party lines and line up behind an independent.
It's hard to imagine a situation where Chiles actually wins. He's not Crist, and despite drawing on daddy's name recognition, he's pretty unknown as an individual. If he has any impact on the race, we imagine, it might be just drawing votes away from Sink and giving the Republican (Likely Bill McCollum, but keep an eye on that Rick Scott fellow) an easier path to victory.