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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott's downtown Panama City spending spree



Gov. Rick Scott perused several downtown stores in Panama City on Tuesday after stopping by a shipyard, all part of his two-day tour to show the Panhandle is all right a year after the oil spill.

Good thing he brought his wallet. The governor made a few purchases.

The first: a present for his wife. We told you about his 39th wedding anniversary with Ann, which coincides with the Deepwater Horizon explosion. While visiting furniture store Avenue Sea, Scott purchased a $210 art glass vas for her.


Scott proceeded to the next stop, a cupcake shop called Sugar Crave. Scott called the goodies "doughnuts" several times by mistake, a shout-out to his early days in the doughnut industry. Scott walked away with a $3.76 "Death by Chocolate" cupcake -- to go.


Scott walked through downtown with Panama City Mayor Scott Clemons, followed by several reporters, governor's office staffers and local tourism officials. He paused a few times: He asked a cop on a segway if he had ever fallen off of his vehicle. He explored the office of Rep. Jimmy Patronis. He held a baby girl in a monogramming store called That's Too Cute.

It wasn't long before he was talking guns and alligator hunting with Ronnie Groom, owner of C&G Sporting Goods. The shop was filled with stuffed and mounted trophy animals, including bobcats, an Alaskan bear, elk and hogs. Groom showed Scott two revolvers, a Bodyguard 38 Special and Taurus Public Defender. Scott did not buy those.


He did purchase a $17.50 fishing license and a hat ahead of the Cabinet fishing competition Tuesday afternoon.


Scott met up with local officials, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Attorney General Pam Bondi at Captain's Table for a big seafood lunch of raw oysters, hush puppies and fish.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 3:04pm]


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