Major issues in the 2014 Florida gubernatorial race between incumbent Rick Scott and former governor Charlie Crist included the economy, Scott's former position with a company fined for Medicare fraud, Crist's change of party and education. The two also debated gay marriage and the Cuba embargo.
When Rick Scott first ran for governor in 2010, he campaigned on promises to help improve Florida's economy and increase jobs in the state. In 2014, he continued to run on these issues, this time citing his ability to follow through on his commitments over the last four years. Florida's economy had indeed improved under his leadership. Despite the fact that Crist pointed to his own success at saving jobs in education during his years as governor, Scott was able to claim credit for 650,000 new private-sector jobs.
In a campaign fraught with negativity, Crist brought up the issue that had plagued Scott in 2010: his executive position at Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation, where Crist alleged Scott prospered illegally at the hands of senior citizens and taxpayers. Crist's claims, as well as those of Scott's opponent in the 2010 race, did not sway the majority of voters.
Crist first ran for governor in 2006 as a Republican. He ran for U.S. senator in 2012 as a Republican and then as an independent. He sought re-election to the governor's office as a Democrat. This changing of parties proved to be an issue for him in the 2014 election.
Scott had cut the education budget during his first term, a move he said was necessary to reduce Florida's budget but did not endear him to Florida's teachers. Scott campaigned on expanding school vouchers and scholarships, but educators disliked his emphasis on testing. Crist wanted to cut back on vouchers and scholarships.