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  Billionaire Jeff Greene Shakes Up Senate Race
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Last EditedCraverguy  Apr 30, 2010 08:22pm
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AuthorKevin Derby
News DateFriday, April 30, 2010 03:20:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionPalm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene jumped into the U.S. Senate race on Friday--making an exciting election contest even more dramatic.

A day after Gov. Charlie Crist announced that he was leaving the Republican Party to continue his campaign as an independent, real estate investor Greene threw his hat in the ring, launching a bid for the Democratic nomination. Greene joins a field that includes frontrunner U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre and former North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns. Former House Speaker Marco Rubio is the favorite to win the Republican nomination.

Launching his campaign on a website, Greene took aim at his opponents in a video message.

“All of the major candidates for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat have been inside government for the past 10 years,’’ said Greene. “And during those 10 years, things have only gotten worse.’’

Greene focused on Florida’s record high unemployment, calling for incentives and tax cuts for small businesses. “Today the people in Florida are struggling – for me that struggle is personal,” he said. “That’s why as Florida’s Senator, job creation will be my number-one priority, and like everything I’ve ever done, getting results will be what drives me.”

The billionaire candidate has an interesting past with aspects of modern celebrity and a Horatio Alger tale. Growing up in a middle class environment, Greene held some odd jobs, waiting tables at the Breakers and working for a traveling circus before making his fortune, now estimated at $1.25 billion, in real estate. Greene added to his wealth by investing in credit default swaps, investing against sub-prime mortgages.
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