Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
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If Meek loses, will Dems back Greene? Maybe.
Posted Aug 4, 2010 by William March
Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 05:08 PM
It’s a touchy question for Democrats coming out to see Kendrick Meek on his “Real Democrat Express” campaign bus tour: If Meek doesn’t win the primary, will they back self-funding billionaire candidate Jeff Greene, who has virtually no history in Democratic politics?
At Meek’s first stop at an Orlando union hall, answers were mixed. Several rank-and-file union members said yes, but a few party insiders refused to commit.
Meek himself, engaged in an increasingly bitter primary fight, says he won’t endorse Greene “in the very hypothetical case” that Greene beats him in the primary. He won’t even commit to voting for Greene, and said he won’t vote for Republican Marco Rubio or Gov. Charlie Crist, a former Republican running with no party affiliation.
“I don’t know,” Meek said. “I might have to write in.”
At the Orlando event, Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll back Greene if Greene wins the primary—although he also declined to endorse Meek. However, he introduced Meek at the event using words that sounded like an endorsement.
“You all deserve to thank Kendrick Meek,” he told the crowd, referring to Meek’s having led the successful 2002 petition drive for a constitutional amendment on public school class sizes. “The reason our children are learning today is because of Kendrick Meek.”
Florida’s other senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, has endorsed Meek but also said he’ll back Greene if Meek isn’t the nominee.
Some party officials at the Orlando event suggested they might back Greene, but didn’t sound enthusiastic about it.
“I’m a Democrat. Beyond that I can’t say much,” said former Orange County Chairman Doug Head.
“I’ll get behind the Democratic nominee,” said Pasco County Chair Alison Morano.