John Nance Garner, who was vice president during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first two terms in the White House, said the vice presidency is “not worth a bucket of warm spit.” Garner, a plains-speaking Texan who was known as “Cactus Jack,” actually compared the number-two spot in the federal executive branch to another bodily fluid, but this tries to be a family newspaper.
We suppose something similar could be said about being lieutenant governor of Florida. Perhaps the last time a lieutenant governor had to do anything of importance was in late 1998, when Democrat Buddy MacKay had to serve the last 23 days of the term of Lawton Chiles, who suffered a fatal heart attack at the governor’s mansion.
The 2018 contest to select a successor to Gov. Rick Scott has already provided surprises in the former of the two major-party primary winners: Democrat Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, and Republican U.S. House member Ron DeSantis. Last week, Gillum tapped Chris King, founder of a Winter Park financial group, as his running mate and DeSantis selected state Rep. Jeanette Nunez of Miami.
Early polling suggests the Gillum-DeSantis contest is too close to call. Perhaps Gillum hopes businessman King, one of the losers in this year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, will reassure voters concerned about Gillum’s reputation as a staunch progressive. Will Cuban-American Nunez help DeSantis, who is of Italian heritage, with Florida’s growing number of Hispanic voters?
Most likely, the governor’s race will come down to whether more of the people who go to the polls Nov. 6 like DeSantis’ strong support from President Donald Trump or are hoping that Gillum is that “something new” many people say they want these days.