Rich campaign gets financial boost from public financing

Charlie Crist
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist speaks at the Florida Press Association and Florida Society of Newspaper Editors at a gubernatorial forum in Coral Gables, Fla., Thursday, July 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Democratic candidate for governor Nan Rich is getting a financial boost to her campaign.

Rich became the first candidate running for governor to qualify for public matching funds. The state distributed more than $189,000 to her campaign on Friday. Rich had raised nearly $428,000 before receiving the money.

Candidates running for statewide office can qualify for matching money from taxpayers. The Republican-controlled Legislature tried to repeal public financing of campaigns but voters defeated the amendment in 2010.

Some Republicans have labeled public financing “welfare for politicians.” Former Gov. Jeb Bush refused public money, as did Gov. Rick Scott in 2010. But other Republicans including Attorney General Pam Bondi are accepting the matching funds.

Charlie Crist is expected to accept public financing, but he hasn’t received any money yet.

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