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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Norquist to stump with Scott first day of bus tour



Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist will join the first day of Republican Rick Scott's gubernatorial campaign, reporters were just told.

The Scott campaign is setting a hectic pace on the first day: stops in New Port Richey, Spring Hill, Inverness, The Villages and Palm City.

Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, will peel off the bus tour after The Villages. Rumored to be joining later in the week: U.S. Sen. John Thune and former presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

There's already a noticeable difference from Scott's first bus tour, which he made during the primary campaign. 

For one, much of the staff has been replaced.

While Scott offered the press plenty of access during the primary bus tour, but volunteers and out-of-state hires left reporters behind or were repeatedly lost (the campaign once confused the Orange County Convention Center with the Orlando Convention Center, a deadly mistake on a tight schedule).

Now that Scott is the party's nominee, he has more experienced Florida hands ironing out the details. Scott's traveling press aide, Bettina Inclan, a former aide for U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and national excutive director of the National Hispanic Assembly, has gone out of her way to accomodate the press. Chad Colby, a former Republican National Committee press secretary, is helping with press. Gov. Charlie Crist's former communications director, Erin Isaac, is on the tour helping Jennifer Carroll, Scott's running mate.

Reporters have also been given in-depth itineraries and promised plenty of access to Scott.

[Last modified: Monday, October 25, 2010 11:01pm]


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