By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com October 02 2009 8:25 AM ET
Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, formalized plans last week to open an affiliate of his new Faith and Freedom Coalition in Florida, with the goal of energizing social conservatives and financing Republican state campaigns.
The new coalition, which was created last weekend, plans to organize conservative voters and pour cash into high-profile races such as the Republican senate primary between Governor Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio, former speaker of the Florida house of representatives, according to the News Service of Florida .
“Florida is the largest of a half-dozen states where the Faith and Freedom Coalition now has chapters, which some have dubbed a 2.0 version of the Christian Coalition, intended to draw younger, Internet-savvy social conservatives,” reported the News Service of Florida.
Reed serves as voluntary chairman of the new national coalition, which he announced in June. The Florida chapter is led by Bill Stephens, executive director of the state’s Christian Coalition.
Reed was hired by Pat Robertson two decades ago to serve as the first executive director of the Christian Coalition. He later became a lobbyist, and was connected to the Jack Abramoff scandal.