Legacy candidate offers voters another fresh choice
Chiles will refuse contributions from Political Parties, PACs and Big Corporations
By Chris Ingram
Lawton “Bud” Chiles, the son of former Democrat Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Lawton Chiles announced he will be a candidate for Florida Governor today. Chiles will run without party affiliation, will not accept PAC money, or money from political party organizations.
I had the pleasure to meet Chiles on the set of “Florida This Week” when we both appeared on that program in January. I found Chiles to be sincere, and competent, and to have a vision for Florida’s future — something Republican candidate Bill McCollum certainly lacks.
We’ll have more information about Chiles’ candidacy soon. A copy of the press release from his announcement appears below.
TALLAHASSEE – With a promise to return Florida’s government to the people, Lawton M. (Bud) Chiles III, a Tallahassee businessman who served until recently as President of the Lawton Chiles Foundation, today announced that he has entered the race to become Florida’s next governor. Chiles, 57, said that the influence of money has caused state government to break its bond with the people it was created to serve.
“I’m running for Governor to speak for a million Floridians who are out of work right now,” Chiles said. “I’m running to help nearly a million children who have no health care – and for the millions of people who, like me, believe Florida can and must do better by its families and communities.”
Chiles said that state government has “broken faith” with the people it was created to serve, and he pointed to contributions to candidates and parties as the reason.
“It’s big money versus big money and the people are left on the sidelines,” he said. “I refuse to play that game. I am in this race as an independent, beholden to no party. My campaign is all about bringing people together, not dividing folks.”
Not only will he refuse party money, Chiles added that he also will not accept contributions from political action committees (PACs) or large corporations- and is limiting contributions to $250.
As president of the Lawton Chiles Foundation – named in honor of his late father – Chiles has spent the last several months walking across the state, meeting with teachers, children’s advocates and local leaders. According to Chiles, the hard work and cooperation he witnessed made him realize that the communities ought to serve as a model for the state.
“I’ve seen firsthand that the answers to our most challenging problems are found right in our own communities,” Chiles said. “These collaborative efforts are working because people are coming together not as Democrats or Republicans, but as community leaders – to improve education, help foster kids, and end homelessness.”
Chiles said that his campaign will be focused on energizing the people of Florida who have been left out and whose voices haven’t been heard. He promised fast action on reforming campaign finance laws and making government more transparent to the people.
Chiles said he expects to continue his walk across Florida, meeting with people in the communities and learning firsthand about their successes and challenges. A major campaign rally to kick off the campaign is scheduled for his hometown of Lakeland on June 12.
For more information: www.WalkWithBud.com.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of www.IrreverentView.com. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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