Watermark’s 2014 General Election Recommendations

By : Watermark Staff
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In a year of changes surrounding equality, Floridians have some interesting choices before them as the Nov. 4 general election approaches. Amid the negative campaign ads, the ludicrous debate scenarios and ongoing battle over same-sex marriage in the Sunshine State, it can be difficult to see through the muck and distorted truths to find a candidates suitable for your vote.

At the request of many Watermark readers—and a responsibility to tradition—we offer our 2014 general election recommendations.

These are only recommendations, not endorsements, since we have not spoken with every single candidate seeking office this year. Our recommendations are based on several factors: our research on who would serve as a champion of LGBT equality in our state, the endorsements and recommendations of pro-equality groups like Equality Florida and the ACLU, and our own conversations with some of those seeking office on Nov. 4.

The most important thing to remember on Nov. 4 is that you have a voice. Whether or not you use this guide in the voting booth, please exercise your right to vote for the leaders of our state. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Governor: Charlie Crist (D)
The Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist has a very real chance of making history as Florida’s first former governor to return to Tallahassee in a different term and with a different party. Crist isn’t ideal by any means, but when it comes to pro-equality stances, he stands heads above Republican incumbent Rick Scott, who supports “traditional marriage,” and cheers on Attorney General Pam Bondi’s fruitless fight to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, despite a string of decisions declaring it unconstitutional.

As Governor in 2008, Crist supported the amendment that banned gay marriages, but he has since evolved on the issue, telling Watermark in January of this year that he was sorry for supporting that amendment. He has also made it a point to speak at LGBT events, specifically St. Pete Pride, where he talked to festival goers at the Stonewall Reception held at the St. Petersburg Museum of Art.

Attorney General: George Sheldon (D)
Polls show Democrat George Sheldon as a long-shot for the position of Florida’s next Attorney General, but as incumbent Pam Bondi continues battling for marriage inequality, his popularity is growing. Sheldon has voiced disappointment in the current AG for continuing to fight for Florida’s marriage ban, which has been ruled unconstitutional five times as of this writing.

His experience as an attorney and a member of the Florida House gives him bragging rights for past accomplishments and makes him a strong choice for the role of Attorney General.

CFO: Jeff Atwater (R)

Commissioner of Agriculture: Adam Putnam (R)



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