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Former Socialist Makes Significant Showing in Democratic Primary

Brian P. Moore, the Socialist Party’s candidate for president in 2008, polled more than 200,000 votes in Tuesday’s Democratic gubernatorial primary in Florida.

Moore, who waged an under-funded and low-key campaign for the state’s highest office, captured the votes of about one fourth of Democrats.

According to unofficial returns, Sink — a heavy favorite in the race — carried all of the state’s 67 counties, but defeated Moore by only five votes in rural Holmes County.  Moore topped 40% in a number of other counties and carried a scattering of precincts throughout the state, including a handful in populous Miami-Dade County.

Hoping to repeat the success of muckraking author and novelist Upton Sinclair — a lifelong Socialist who captured the Democratic nomination for governor of California during the Great Depression in a spectacularly brilliant campaign one biographer described as “the campaign of the century” — the 67-year-old Moore spent less than $8,200 in his improbable bid.  Much of that came in the form of a personal loan that he made to his campaign.

Sink, who only recently began airing television commercials and remains largely unknown to a wide swath of Florida voters, raised cash contributions of more than $7.5 million, but saved much of her massive war chest for the autumn election where she will face a deep-pocketed GOP opponent.

In congratulating Sink on hervictory, Moore thanked his supporters and promised to continue fighting for the progressive issues, including the establishment of a state-owned bank, that he raised during his short-lived primary campaign.

He has not yet indicated if he will endorse Sink in the general election or not.  In his congratulatory remarks, the former Socialist candidate for president said that he hoped the Democratic nominee would provide “a more specific and more liberal agenda than she has demonstrated during the primary campaign.”

Sink, 62, will face multimillionaire Rick Scott, who waged a come-from-behind victory against Attorney General Bill McCollum to capture the Republican nomination in a bitterly-contested and expensive primary.

Scott reportedly spent a record-shattering $50.2 million in the primary.

The major-party nominees will face opposition from Bud Chiles, the son of the late Gov. Lawton Chiles, Iranian-born economist Farid A. Khavari of Miami, and several others running without party affiliation.

5 Responses »

  1. I bet a lot of Democrats wish he would go away - but 200,000 votes is quite a statement about where the Democratic party's core lies and how they feel about Alex Sink.

    She's going to struggle in the Fall.

  2. On this Austin we agree. I just wish the time line had been on my side, the outcome would have been very different. Moore has a better plan and has developed it over the race after talking to several voters with their specific concerns. Moore was not afraid to take on the social issues and to take bold stands in several civil rights issues.

  3. I don't understand where Rick Scott's fantastic expenditure numbers come from - according to FL Sec'y of State website, Scott loaned his campaign $38,900,000 and overall his campaign spent about $37,600,000. I've heard numbers ranging from $35 million (NPR) to $50 million here. Someone ought to report sources with the stories.

  4. Peter,

    MSNBC and a few other media outlets reported the $50 million figure on Election Day. We won't know the correct and final figures until Scott's post-primary report is filed in September. Here's the link to the MSNBC story: www.http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/08/24/4962783-rick-scott-spent-50-million-on-primary-bid.

  5. What concerns me and I know other voters, "Why would someone spend millions for a thankless job that pays only $130,000 per year?"