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As Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist campaign around the state largely attacking each other, they have also made dozens promises to voters with nearly two months to go before Election Day.
Whichever candidate wins, PolitiFact Florida will track their promises starting in 2015. If Scott wins re-election, we will add his new promises to our Scott-O-Meter. If Crist wins, we’ll launch a new meter. (PolitiFact Florida also tracks the promises of the mayors of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Miami-Dade County. PolitiFact tracks the promises of President Barack Obama.)
Scott and Crist both have made promises about raising K-12 spending, making college more affordable, growing jobs and helping Florida’s middle class. But each candidate also has made proposals that provide a window into the different ways they would govern if elected.
Crist’s promises seem to target certain Democratic blocs: He has promised to fight for gay marriage, make it easier for college students to vote, veto abortion restrictions and raise the minimum wage.
He also has promised to increase K-12 per-pupil spending back to $7,126, the high point when he was governor in 2007-08, and he promised to accept federal money for Medicaid expansion. Both of those promises are usually framed as attacks on Scott.
Scott’s second-term promises are largely about growing jobs and improving education.
Scott has promised to deliver $1 billion in tax and fee cuts over two years, including his proposal for a constitutional amendment to prevent property taxes from increasing if a home’s value remains flat or declines. Other promises are specific to business, such as eliminating the manufacturing tax.
Scott also promised to raise K-12 per-pupil spending to $7,176 — $50 more than the high mark under Crist.
Scott has made a few promises aimed at tea party supporters, especially those critical of the Common Core education standards for students. This year the state tweaked the standards and renamed them the "Florida Standards." Scott promised to "eliminate all references to the term Common Core standards in Florida law."
Whether Scott or Crist wins, we will track the next governor’s progress on promises throughout his tenure.
Spot a promise by Gov. Rick Scott or former Gov. Charlie Crist? Contact us at [email protected] or @PolitiFactFL