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JJ Dinner Snub Gave Nan Rich A Boost But A Hard Road Ahead

For former State Senator Nan Rich, being snubbed for a speaking spot at the recent Jefferson-Jackson Democratic dinner was both a blow and a gift to her campaign for governor. It got her some sympathy and some media attention, but it also means she faces a year and half of grueling retail politics if she hopes for a chance to challenge Gov. Rick Scott next year.

Nan Rich is veteran of state politics with an almost perfect legislative record on health care, voting rights, education, women's issues, and guns. The NRA gives her an F every time. But Democratic leaders didn't invite her to speak at the Jefferson Jackson dinner."It was kind of odd that as the only active declared candidate that I would not be given the opportunity to speak but as you said they gave me a gift in another way", Rich reflected.

The gift was a storyline and a narrative for her campaign, which may include a primary run against former Republican Governor Charlie Crist and/or Democrat Alex Sink. The snub was widely reported and Rich collected a lot of sympathy. But without the JJ dinner campaign launch, the road ahead consists of small groups and grassroots organizing.

Tonight, in the backroom of a bar in suburban Fort Lauderdale, she's addressing a total of three members of the Broward Democratic Party's black caucus. She was asked a question about restoring voting rights to felons who have served their time -- an issue owned by Crist, who led the cabinet to restore voting rights automatically during his term. Gov. Scott has since reversed the change but it’s one reason Crist still has a lot of black support. But Rich told her tiny audience she can beat him.

"They want a democrat who is a true democrat who has the core values and principles of the democratic party", said Rich.

According to recent polls, either Crist or Sink could beat Rick Scott if the election were tomorrow. The only Democrat Scott could beat right now, pollsters found, is Nan Rich.