Broward civic leaders want to host a debate between the Democratic candidates for governor, Charlie Crist and Nan Rich.
The pitch comes from Mike Colodny, chairman of the Broward Days organization, and J. David Armstrong, president of Broward College.
In a letter to Crist and Rich earlier this month, they said they’d like to hold a debate at Broward College’s Bailey Concert Hall on the Davie campus. If the candidates agree, the two organizations would handle all the logistics.
“We believe this is a great opportunity for the democratic process and the voters of Florida,” Colodny and Armstrong wrote.
Rich, a former Florida Senate Democratic leader from Weston, isn’t nearly as well known as Crist, the former one-term Republican governor who ran for U.S. Senate as a no-party independent in 2010 and is now a Democrat.
When Crist announced his candidacy, Rich offered the usual response from a lesser-known, lesser-funded candidate, and suggested a series of 10 debates.
If any are ultimately held – likely much closer to the Aug. 26 primary – the Colodny-Armstrong invitation could put Broward in line to host one.
Major debates among statewide candidates frequently occur in Davie – but not at Broward College. Debates are often sponsored by the statewide civic organization Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association and are held at Nova Southeastern University.
Leadership Florida and the Press Association have already announced their intention to host “Decision 2014: Before You Vote,” a general election debate between the Democratic and Republican nominees.
As the chairman of Leadership Florida, Armstrong said in an August statement that “The best way to level the playing field is to subject the candidates to fair and informed questioning by journalists and give the voters unfiltered access to the answers. That’s exactly what we aim to provide, again.”
Broward Days is a bipartisan group that brings business and government leaders together to advocate for the county in Tallahassee. Broward College was formerly known as Broward Community College.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun