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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Battle lines drawn: Scott, McCollum submit papers



Republicans Rick Scott and Bill McCollum filed qualifying papers for governor within a half hour of each other Thursday, narrowly missing each other outside the state elections office. Scott initially waved off reporters and said he had to leave, but spokeswoman Jennifer Baker insisted he stick around and take questions.

"This is hard," a perspiring Scott said at his first press conference as a hoard of reporters and TV cameras cornered him. Of campaigning 24/7, he said: "This is fun. I like all the people."

He said he wants to cut state taxes, abolish state programs that don't work, and apply "outcome measurements" to programs. He seemed unaware that the Legislature imposed such benchmarks more than a decade ago. "Everything the state government does restricts our freedom," Scott said. "What should we be doing?"

Scott, a wealthy lawyer and former hospital executive, said he will abide by state campaign spending limits so that matching dollars are not given to McCollum. He promised to put his assets in a blind trust if elected.

Scott did not file his financial disclosure statement, which will show his net worth, but must submit it by noon Friday.

-- Steve Bousquet

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:43am]


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