Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink made a stop in Jacksonville Tuesday morning as part of her “Women’s Week of Action,” which began yesterday at Orlando’s University of Central Florida. Sink is scheduled to wrap up her series of “Women for Alex” events on Saturday, in Tampa, and is set to announce her running mate — reportedly ex-state Sen. Rod Smith — on Thursday in West Palm Beach.
Tuesday’s event, which was held in downtown Jacksonville’s Firefighter Hall, was publicized as an early voting rally and began with introductory statements from Justin Spiller (interim vice chair of the local Democratic party) and Lexie McBride, Sink’s daughter.
McBride, a student at Wake Forest University, spoke at length about her mother’s passion for education reform. Both of Sink’s children attended public schools, a fact that Sink played up when speaking to the crowd: “[If elected] I will be the first governor in 12 years whose children went to public schools.”
Sink said that her passion for strong public education is an important one in making strides toward bettering the state’s economy: “I’ll be the biggest Florida salesperson you’ll ever meet because I want to bring businesses here. We can’t diversify the economy unless we can offer the promise of a good workforce … which means we need a good public education system.” Sink said that, if elected, she hopes to gather a quality group of individuals (including teachers, parents and superintendents) to help with education reform, rather than “some out-of-touch guy in a building in Tallahassee.”
Both Sink and her daughter said that her business experience would lend itself nicely to a job as Florida’s governor. McBride cited her mother’s 26 years of active business experience as evidence she will be “an advocate for the people of Florida,” and Sink herself said that she wakes up every morning thinking about what could be done to help area businesses: “I am committed to helping Florida’s economy, and [I want to] put those millions of Floridians who are out of work, back to work.”
Sink made a few allusions to her recently unveiled campaign ad — in which she spoke of her desire to reform not only education and the economy, but the way government is run: “The republicans are out there … attacking each other, and what the people of Florida want is someone who’ll attack Florida’s problems.”