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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott says he won't need to pay for re-election bid



Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday that not only will he seek a second-term in 2014, but he predicted that he won't have to reach into his own pocket to pay for a re-election campaign like he did the first time.

Scott, who spent more than $73 million of his own money to win in 2010, made the announcement in a matter-of-fact way during a 25-minute question-and-answer session with reporters in his office. A reporter asked the governor whether he anticipated the need to write checks for a second campaign.

"I won't have to," Scott said, adding: "I'm running for re-election. I like this job. This is the best job you can imagine ... In this job, if you care about anybody's family in this state, you can have a positive impact. You can impact their education system."

Scott's political fund-raising 527 organization, Let's Get to Work, collected $910,000 in the first quarter of this year. Six donors have kicked in $100,000 each in recent months: Miami investor Miguel Fernandez; The Villages; Blue Cross Blue Shield; United Group Underwriters, a Miami Gardens insurance firm; the Florida Retail Federation; and a political committee controlled by the Florida Optometric Association.  

Asked how much a 2014 race would cost, Scott said: "I don't know what it will cost, but we'll have the money to win."

In his comments, Scott appeared relaxed and upbeat and sounded eager to hit the campaign trail, despite his persistently low approval ratings in public opinion polls. He crowed about the recent drop in the Florida unemployment rate (biggest one-month decline in 20 years); the drop in violent crime (lowest in 40 years, he said); and positive trends in tourism and home sales in Florida.

The man who said in 2010 that he didn't read Florida newspapers now says he reads newspaper articles "and the nice op-eds," and enjoys getting advice from as many sources as possible.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 2:00pm]


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