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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott withdraws from all his RNC events



Gov. Rick Scott just announced that he is withdrawing from all of his Republican National Convention events for Monday because of Tropical Storm Isaac, expecting to soon become a hurricane threatening Florida.

"I've got to get ready for taking care of the entire state," Scott said from Broward County.

He said he was honored to be included in the program -- he was to give a speech Monday night at the convention -- but had explained to Mitt Romney's campaign that he needs to attend to the storm.

He's now headed to Tampa, with the next storm briefing Sunday at 11 a.m., and asks everyone in the state to get prepared for the storm. "Have a plan," he said. "Take care of each other."

Here's the statement from the governor:

As Tropical Storm Isaac approaches Florida and the possibility of hurricane strength conditions becoming more likely for the Keys and Panhandle, I have made the decision to cancel my speech on Monday night at the Republican National Convention. Additionally, I am going to cancel all of my convention-related activities on Monday so I can respond to storm-related matters.  

As Governor of this great state, I am responsible for all 19 million residents and visitors and it is my duty to make sure we can quickly respond to the regions affected. While Tampa Bay has gotten a lot of attention due to the upcoming convention, I will unilaterally focus on the safety of every resident and community throughout the state.

I am continuing to lead multiple daily briefings with local, state and federal decision makers and RNC officials to share information so the best decisions can be made for each region. I also spoke to Governor Romney earlier today and briefed him on the storm and possible impact to the state. I have made Governor Romney and RNC officials aware of the resources our state can provide in the chance Tampa is affected. Like all decision-makers affected by this storm, the convention officials will make the best decisions for delegates and participants.

As we know in Florida, storm forecasts can and do change. As a result, I encourage all residents and visitors to pay close attention to local emergency management officials to ensure all necessary precautions are taken. Residents and visitors from the Florida Keys to the Panhandle need to make sure they have food and water for 72 hours and to check for up-to-date information.

Experts at the local, state and federal level prepare for storms like this everyday.  All visitors and residents can be assured every precaution will be taken to ensure their safety.

[Last modified: Saturday, August 25, 2012 6:13pm]


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