In the state’s largest Democratic fundraiser, former president Bill Clinton raised millions toward electing Florida’s first Democratic governor in 16 years, with all eyes on Charlie Crist as the likely candidate.
The former president awed a South Florida audience of more than 1,500 people who each paid $265 to attend the Florida Democratic Party Blue gala in Hollywood, The Palm Beach Post reported. The event raised upwards of $1.1 million.
Crist, the state’s former Republican governor, only recently became a Democrat after losing a 2010 primary senate bid against Marco Rubio, but he’s widely regarded as left of center on social issues like gay marriage and medicinal cannabis use.
“[Rick Scott] said if you elected him, he’d go back to trickle-down economics,” Clinton said to the crowd, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. “Why would you choose economic policy that only helps people that don’t need help?”
Former President Clinton is officially neutral in the state’s Democratic primary, which pits Crist against former state senator and Democratic leader Nan Rich.
The Florida Democratic Primary is slated for Aug. 26. The winner of the race will face off against incumbent Gov. Rick Scott, a race that could pit the current governor against the former governor, on Nov. 4.