Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Scott ducks $100 million question
Posted Feb 7, 2013 by William March
Updated Feb 7, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Asked Thursday about reports that he plans to spend up to $100 million on his re-election campaign, Gov. Rick Scott declined to give a direct answer Thursday.
Scott didn’t confirm or deny—in fact, wouldn’t even comment on—a report from the Politico web site that his political team is planning a campaign that could cost up to $100 million, and would seek to include the kind of intensive, technology-driven voter contact and turnout machine pioneered by President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign.
Here’s Scott’s full reply when asked whether the reports were true or false:
“Well, here’s what i’m focused on every day. I’m focussed on every day making sure this is the number one state for job creation, the number one state for education. That’s why as you know my two top priorities in this budget this year are, one, get rid of the sales tax on machinery so we’ll have more manufacturing jobs, and two, make sure that all of our classroom teachers get a $2,500 pay raise.”
That would be the most money ever spent on a political campaign in Florida, but it’s not too far from what Scott spent in 2010. That year, his campaign spent about $67 million—much of it his own money—and his independent political committee, Let’s Get To Work, spent another $17.5 million.
That 2010 race, however, included a heavily contested primary against former Attorney General Bill McCollum as well as a tough general election contest with Democrat Alex Sink. In 2014, expectations right now are that Scott won’t have a primary challenger.
Scott has also hinted, however, that he doesn’t want to depend as heavily on his own money as he did in 2010, when nearly $74 million of his spending was his personal money or money from a trust fund belonging to his wife.