Voters will pick the next governor nominees in the Florida and Arizona primaries. The primaries will be closely watched before the midterms in November.
The Florida and Arizona primaries are races featuring prominent politicians. Charlie Crist, the former Republican Florida governor, is now running on the Democratic ticket. Crist hopes that he can get the votes of Obama supporters.
“The president’s campaigns, both of them, have really broken the mold on how you get out the vote,” said Crist. He noted Obama’s mix of grassroots campaigning and data-driven voter outreach as being revolutionary. “My God, I’ve never seen this before. I can tell you, Republicans don’t know about this, ” said Crist.
Crist has been criticized for flip-flopping on issues, but is expected to win his primary. If he wins, he faces current Republican governor Rick Scott in the general election.
Though it may be a close and expensive race, Scott seems confident about winning the election. “At the end, it’s going to be who has the best grass roots and can we get our message out,” said Scott. “We’ve got to have a better ground game than our opponents.”
The Arizona primaries are a lot more crowded with six Republicans hoping to replace outgoing governor Jan Brewer. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and state Treasurer Doug Ducey are the top candidates vying to win. Ducey is the former CEO of the Cold Stone Creamery ice cream store chain.
Ducey is a Tea Party Republican backed by Sarah Palin, controversial anti-immigration Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Texas senator Ted Cruz. Smith is supported by Brewer, and actively campaigning with him.
Smith is presenting himself as a more moderate Republican to voters, while Ducey calls himself ” the conservative ice cream guy.” The winner of the primary will face Democrat Board of Regents member Fred DuVal in the November general election.