When Charlie Crist last governed Florida, his green energy and climate policies made him few friends among the state’s powerful electricity corporations.
Now, as the Republican-turned Democrat bids to return to the governor’s mansion, it may be payback time.
Florida’s three largest utilities have poured money into the re-election campaign of Republican incumbent Governor Rick Scott in an expensive and closely watched political battle for the nation’s largest swing state.
The election spending is notable in a tight race where the issues of energy and climate change have taken center stage in recent weeks, with both candidates asserting their environmental credentials.
As Republican governor between 2007 and 2011, Crist “sent shivers through the entire utility system,” said Colleen Castille, who headed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection under Governor Jeb Bush.