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Mary Thomas (right) and her former boss

Emails & Opinions

Mary Thomas leans hard on “conservative” label while omitting ties to Charlie Crist

Republican Mary Thomas, running for Florida’s 2nd Congressional District, would be happy to have supporters think her state government career began with the election of Gov. Rick Scott.

It doesn’t.

The North Florida attorney is working hard to promote her staunch conservative credentials as she seeks to unseat Democrat Gwen Graham. Campaign materials are quick to point out her service in Scott administration as General Counsel for the Department of Elder Affairs.

Yet, the same material provides little insight on her time after graduating the University of Miami in 2007.

One possible reason is that Thomas’ previous state government job seems to run counter to her desire to be “a new generation of conservative leadership in Washington.”

The period in question was in 2009, when she was Assistant General Counsel at the Florida Department of Community Affairs – appointed by none other than Gov. Charlie Crist.

That’s right. Thomas received her first government gig through the good graces of Florida’s infamous GOP “traitor” (at least in the eyes of many Republicans).

In fact, while at the DCA, Thomas was an aggressive advocate of Crist’s Global Climate Change Agenda, mostly through representing her boss in filing lawsuits against developers, with the stated goal of reducing greenhouse gases.

Her tenure at the DCA involved several legal battles against local governments, as well, in an attempt to force them to amend their comprehensive plans. Many briefs – signed by Thomas – argue that revised plans failed to “provide for energy-efficient land-use patterns that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” She also contended many of the modified plans called for “low-density residential development,” depending on auto use, increased vehicle miles and an effort to promote greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

Thomas, currently embroiled in a heated congressional contest, promises to be a “strong, conservative Republican.” Nonetheless, campaign rhetoric is one thing; running from your past – and hiding it from voters – is quite another.

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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