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Sink Files Paperwork to Run for Governor

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink officially filed her paperwork to run for governor Wednesday, in the midst of a race in which she finds herself behind two Republicans in the polls and concerned about an independent candidate that could skim Democratic votes.

Sink, 62, filed her qualifying papers flanked by advisers at the state Division of Elections in Tallahassee, then went outside to speak to a small group of cheering supporters.

With no major primary opposition, Sink’s most immediate campaign concern may be blunting the spoiler threat from independent candidate Bud Chiles, who jumped in the campaign just a few weeks ago.

“As we have already seen just this week there will be many candidates in the campaign and many candidates names on the ballot in November,” Sink said.

In the meantime, she’s going to bang hard on BP for the oil it is spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. Sink also has a campaign theme in pledging to help the Florida business owners who have been affected by the massive oil spill. Sink, like other political candidates, has spent a significant amount of time during the past month in the Panhandle, speaking with BP representatives and local officials.

She also publicly flogged BP Vice President Bob Fryar who appeared before Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet earlier this month.

“I am so moved by the incredible spirit of Floridans, by the fishermen and their families, by the small business owners and their employees, the men and women who make their lives and their livelihoods in Florida's Gulf coast,” Sink said after filing qualifying papers. “They deserve a leader that will stand up for them.”

Sink announced her candidacy over a year ago, but spent much of the first year quietly raising money. Despite the fact that she is a statewide office holder, a Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month said that 56 percent of those surveyed had not heard enough about Sink to form an opinion of her.

In comparison, 32 percent said they hadn't heard enough about Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum and 46 percent said they hadn't heard enough about GOP gubernatorial front runner Rick Scott. Chiles, running technically with no party affiliation, faces an unknown factor of 81 percent.

Chiles, McCollum and Scott were yet to file their qualifying papers Wednesday and were expected to later in the week. McCollum, Scott and Sink are all also slated to appear together Thursday afternoon in Sarasota at the Florida Press Association annual convention.

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