Where They Stand


  • JEB BUSH: Opposes tax increases but warns that taxes may rise if a class size amendment passes. Pushed $4-billion in tax cuts through the Legislature the past four years. Mostly for Corporate Welfare and the Wealthy.
  • BILL McBRIDE: Favors a 50-cent per pack cigarette tax for education and eliminating some tax exemptions. Criticizes previous tax cuts for draining a state surplus.

School grading and vouchers

  • BUSH: Uses standardized tests to grade schools, offers vouchers to students in failing schools and rewards schools that improve.
  • McBRIDE: Favors standardized tests but says they should be used to evaluate students' strengths and weaknesses, not grade schools. Opposes vouchers.

Gay adoption ban

  • BUSH: Supports.
  • McBRIDE: Opposes.

Capital punishment

  • BUSH: Supports.
  • McBRIDE: Supports. Favors temporary moratorium to improve system and ensure innocent people are not executed.

Voting rights for ex-felons

  • BUSH: Supports current law that requires felons to apply to the governor and Cabinet to restore voting rights.
  • McBRIDE: Supports automatic restoration of rights.

Class size amendment (Amendment 9)

  • BUSH: Opposes.
  • McBRIDE: Supports.

Statewide university governing board (Amendment 11)

  • BUSH: Opposes. Supports a "seamless" approach in which one governing board oversees all education, kindergarten to postgraduate studies.
  • McBRIDE: Supports. Favors a statewide board to establish policy and spend money for the 11 public universities only.

Ban new development where schools are overcrowded

  • BUSH: Supports, but in two attempts could not get the Legislature to agree.
  • McBRIDE: Supports.

Child protection

  • McBRIDE: Would search nationally for a new department head, reduce turnover by raising salaries and reduce case loads

Affirmative action

  • BUSH: Opposes. Created One Florida initiative that eliminated affirmative action in university admissions and state procurement.
  • McBRIDE: Supports. Would dismantle One Florida plan.

Campaign finance

  • BUSH: Opposes further restrictions on raising campaign contributions; opposes public financing for state campaigns; supports instant on-line reporting of contributions.
  • McBRIDE: Favors further restrictions on big money contributions.

Abortion rights

  • BUSH: Opposes.
  • McBRIDE: Supports.

Health care

  • BUSH: Supports limiting awards of noneconomic damages, also known as pain and suffering, in medical malpractice cases.
  • McBRIDE: Opposes limiting those awards.

Growth management

  • BUSH: Supports giving local governments more power to decide where growth should occur.
  • McBRIDE: Says the state should oversee local governments' work to ensure a regional view.

Citizen standing

  • BUSH: Signed bill that limits citizens' right to challenge development.
  • McBRIDE: Says he would work to overturn the law and restore citizens' rights.