Senate hopeful Kendrick Meek visits university

He met Thursday with campaign interns at UF.

Published: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 11:34 p.m.

While national attention has been focused on Florida's Republican contenders for the U.S. Senate, Kendrick Meek has been flying under the radar.

That suits Meek, a U.S. representative from Miami who is running for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat, just fine.

"I'm not going to be the forgotten man in this race when it comes to people voting," he said.

Meek met Thursday with campaign interns and volunteers on the University of Florida campus.

The hopeful is attempting to be the first statewide candidate to qualify for the ballot by petition, and the workers are helping collect the 112,476 signatures by March 28 that he needs to do so.

Meek said he isn't worried by the recent retirement of two Democratic senators or other signs that his party might face difficulties on Election Day.

He said Charlie Crist's role as an incumbent governor links him and his party to the economic problems facing Florida.

Public sentiment is "anti-incumbent, it's not anti-Democratic," Meek said.

He said he hopes to tap the enthusiasm of UF students for the Obama campaign for his race.

Meek said the effort should be helped by his history as a former student leader at Florida A&M University and his support for education and other issues of concern to students.

"I speak from the perspective of (knowing) what they're going through," he said.

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