Politics & Government

Meek slams Crist in preliminary to next year's Florida Senate race

MIAMI — U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the South Florida congressman seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate, blasted Republican Gov. Charlie Crist's record in a speech Friday before the predominantly Cuban American and Republican Latin Builders Association.

Meek criticized the governor -- his likely rival in the 2010 U.S. Senate campaign -- on everything from the state's ballooning foreclosure crisis to public sector layoffs.

"I'm glad I'm not the governor because if I was the governor I would have to explain why this community and this state is in such bad shape,'' Meek told a packed hall at the downtown J.W. Marriott Hotel Miami.

The governor was supposed to address the association but canceled because of a scheduling conflict with a Florida Association of Realtors meeting in Orlando, his press spokeswoman, Erin Isaac, said. She said the group had initially offered Crist several dates to choose from, and that he will speak to them at a later time.

"When this date didn't work out, we canceled with the assumption that we could always do one of the other dates,'' Isaac said. ``It's an important group and the governor looks forward to addressing them.''

Meek was the second Democratic candidate for elected office to address the politically influential members since the state's chief financial officer, Alex Sink, spoke there in June.

Read the full story at MiamiHerald.com.