From the Tampa Bay Times, 10/16/2014:
DAVIE – In what had to be the strangest start of a gubernatorial debate, Gov. Rick Scott nearly refused to participate because Democrat Charlie Crist insisted on a fan to keep him cool.
The Republican governor finally emerged six minutes late as flummoxed moderators struggled to figure out what to do with only a bemused Crist standing on stage at Broward College.
“Are we really going debate about a fan or are we going to talk about education, the environment and the future of our state?” asked Crist.
From Orlando Weekly, 10/16/2014:
If you watched last night’s gubernatorial debate, you probably witnessed what’s now being called #fangate. For the first five minutes of the debate, Gov. Rick Scott refused to take the stage because he objected to the fact that opponent Charle Crist had a small fan installed under his podium. Apparently, Crist hates to sweat, and he always has a fan nearby during public appearances. It’s no secret. There’s even a Twitter feed for Charlie Crist’s fan, @CCristfan, that has more than 1,000 followers.
From the conservative Sunshine State News, 10/16/2014:
The debate was over before it started.
When Gov. Rick Scott didn’t immediately come out on stage in Wednesday night’s debate against former Gov. Charlie Crist at Broward College due to concerns about the Democrat using his ubiquitous fan, the governor lost the debate right off the bat. The Crist team quickly took to Twitter, insisting under the agreed-upon rules their candidate was allowed to have his fan.
Crist’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) sent out emails before the debate was over, mocking Scott’s decision.