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Published On: Fri, Oct 17th, 2014

Charlie Crist, Rick Scott campaigns battle over the ‘fan’ regularly

The bizarre reaction over the fan at the Florida gubernatorial debate Wednesday night and the subsequent #fangate hashtag has done little more than distract from the actual debate and issues in Florida.

The former Republican governor, Charlie Crist, now turned Democratic challenger against the current Republican Gov. Rick Scott, regularly uses fans at appearances and avoids sweat at extreme costs. Scott refused to allow this and the debate was delayed.

Rick Scott florida governor cartoon caricature

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“Ladies and gentlemen, we have an extremely peculiar situation right now,” the moderator said. ” … We have been told that Gov. Scott will not be participating in this debate. Gov. Crist has asked to have a fan — a small fan — placed underneath his podium. The rules that I was given by the Scott campaign says there should be no fan.” He paused. “Somehow, there is a fan there.”

Crist wanted to ensure he could use one if necessary at the Broward College encounter, said Dan Gelber, a campaign adviser. So the Crist campaign objected to language in the debate rules that forbade the use of “electronic devices (including fans)” on stage.

Gelber said he became more concerned when he heard the stage was uncomfortably warm at a recent event. He sent the organizers on Monday a signed letter of agreement, furnished to reporters, with an added provision saying the “debate hosts will address any temperature issues with a fan if necessary.” He said he received assurances from debate organizers that the provision was acceptable.

According to a statement released Thursday by the organizers of the debate—the Florida Press Association and Leadership Florida—FPA President Dean Ridings responded that they wanted the candidates to be comfortable. He said they didn’t expect any temperature issues, but would deal with any that came up “appropriately,” according to the statement.

In their statement, organizers said they didn’t anticipate “the possibility that a candidate would not honor the debate rules,” apparently referring to Crist. They also said that during Mr. Scott’s absence from the stage, his campaign “was waiting on resolution of the rules issue.”

In a separate statement, the Scott campaign said the governor “never refused to take the stage and debate. In fact, our campaign was not notified Charlie had even taken the stage because the last we heard, Crist was in an ‘emergency meeting’ with debate organizers pleading for his precious fan.”

Gelber said, “The Scott team was intent on trying to play this game of making Charlie uncomfortable,” and the tactic backfired. The campaigns battled over a fan before a previous debate on Telemundo, Mr. Gelber said. Crist prevailed and used a small fan during the encounter.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Scott said, “Charlie was throwing a fit.”

The two will meet for a final debate on Tuesday. Whether a fan will be on stage remains to be seen.

Rick Scott side Charlie Crist side Adrian Wyllie

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Charlie Crist, Rick Scott take center stage in CNN debate, race deadlocked - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] the last debate was marred by the “fan controversy” aka Fangate, Jake Tapper, the moderator, began by asking “So everybody is comfortable […]

  2. OrlandoChris says:

    By far, this is the easiest voting decision I have ever made in my lifetime. Adrian Wyllie, you have my vote.!.

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