Health Care Issues Major Factors In Utah, Florida Races
Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, is facing an angry progressive base as he pushes for re-election after his "no" vote on health reform legislation, Politico reports. "The pushback against Matheson took its fullest expression in early May, when a restless Democratic base delivered the lawmaker a surprisingly narrow 55 percent to 45 percent victory at this spring's party convention - an unimpressive result for an incumbent that fell short of the 60 percent necessary to avoid a primary for the nomination." His challenger is Claudia Wright, a teacher who entered the race after responding to a Craigslist posting from activists seeking a challenger to Matheson, a fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrat" (Isenstadt, 6/18).
In the Florida governor race, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said Wednesday "he was 'appalled' by the candidacy of health care executive Rick Scott, whose personal wealth has propelled the first-time candidate to take the lead over the former congressman in the polls for the Aug. 24 Florida GOP primary for governor," Politico reports in a separate story. "Scott, who spent heavily to influence the recent health care debate on Capitol Hill, earned most of his personal fortune in health care and hospital companies. McCollum alleged that some of the practices he used in the hospital business would have brought cause for him to investigate them as Attorney General of Florida. ... A spokeswoman for Scott, Jennifer Baker, responded to McCollum's remarks by saying that 'money doesn't buy elections; ideas win elections.' Baker did not say how much Scott had spent in the race so far" (Toeplitz, 6/17).