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Crist doomed, race over, voters can stay home

Can the son equal the father?

CHILES1 Forty years ago, Lawton Chiles rose from little known state senator to U.S. Senator by capturing the imagination of Florida's voters.

Today, his son Lawton "Bud" Chiles III, is about to announce he is a candidate for governor.

Many like to believe that Lawton Chiles political career began with his 1,003 mile walk from the tiny Panhandle town of Century (not Pensacola as is often misreported) to the Keys.

 But Lawton's political career had begun in 1958 and while he may not have been well known outside of his homebase of Polk County, he was a savy, experienced politician.

The 1970 Democratic U.S. Senate primary included a former governor - C. Farris Bryant, Florida House Speaker Fred Schultz, Alcee Hastings, now a congressman, and activist Joel Daves who three decades later would become the mayor of West Palm Beach.

Chiles lost the primary to Bryant but garnered enough votes to get in the runoff which he won.

Chiles died in 1998 during his final weeks in his second term as governor.

Bud Chiles says "This is almost a compulsion. I feel like I've got to either leave the state or do this."

But is complusion enough? And does the name of the father help the son?


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