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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida Insider Poll: Super rich Rick Scott-type Republican will run for governor

Will any Republican emerge as the Rick Scott candidate of 2018?

Tampa Bay Times

Will any Republican emerge as the Rick Scott candidate of 2018?



So far we have one billionaire, Democratic former U.S. Senate candidate, Jeff Greene, keeping the door open for running for Florida governor in 2018. and one, maybe two, hundred millionaires actively looking at running for the Democratic nomination:  Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and maybe personal injury lawyer John Morgan.

No one on  the GOP side has emerged yet as the next Rick Scott - a super wealthy political newcomer popping up and spending tens of millions of his own money. The guy most often mentioned, U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney of Naples, told The Buzz early this year that running for governor is “out of the question,"

But Florida's political elites nonetheless expect that mystery rich guy or gal will emerge to upend the Republican primary. Among nearly 200 Florida politicos participating in our latest, unscientific Florida Insider Poll, nearly two thirds say they expect "wealthy, political outsider/newcomer to run for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2018."

Said one Republican, doubting the GOP will be left to conventional pols like Adam Putnam and Richard Corcoran: "The reason we don't know who that person is is that no one knew who Rick Scott was at this time in the cycle (March before the election year).  An outsider wouldn't want to give that much time for someone to chew them up.  History tends to repeat itself on that front. Putnam will be  labeled as the "career politician" and go down....As for Corcoran, i don't believe there is room for him in a Governor's race, though that is clearly his dream."

From another Republican: "Our Republican Nominee for Governor will be an outsider like Congressman Francis Rooney from Naples.  Lot's of money and a solid record as a businessman and political leader who happens to be close to Rick Scott," one Republican predicted.

And still another: "In the Republican consultant's fevered dreams there is a far wealthier and more liquid GOP candidate than Rick Scott. That candidate is asking for their guidance and offering full control of the spending, polling and media commissions. Okay, Adam Goodman has that dream too, but it's about Philip Levine."

We allow our Insiders to weigh in anonymously to encourage honest answers since many of the participants make a living working with or four politicians we are asking about. Insiders are still weighing in, but check The Buzz tomorrow morning for predictions on Richard Corcoran, Rick Scott, and Bill Nelson.

This week's Florida Political Insiders include: 

Travis Blanton, Jason Unger, Kelly Cohen. Chris Dorworth, Rich Heffley, Kathy Mears, Clarence McKee, Matthew Isbell, Julia Gill Woodward, Brian Hughes, Brad Coker, Bernie Campbell, Meredith O'Rourke, Kevin Cate, Mark Zubaly, Jim Horne, Jack Hebert, JC Planas, Scott Arceneaux, John French, Christian Ulvert, Rodney Barreto, Steve Schale, Peter Feaman, Franco Ripple, Philip Thompson, David Mica, Alex Patton, Douglas Kaplan, Christina Johnson, Screven Watson, Cindy Graves, Bridget Nocco, Patrick Slevin, Willy Guardiola, Ellen Freidin, Marc Reichelderfer, David Bishop, David Beattie, Chris Hartline, Ryan Banfill, Mac Stipanovich, Joe Gruters, Nick Primrose, Eric Jotkoff, Jim Rimes, Tom Alte, Kirk Pepper, Tom Lewis, George Riley, Bud Shorstein, Sean Phillipi, Betty Castor, Mike Fasano, Sarah Rumpf, Frank Tsamoutales, Jason Altmire, Christian Ziegler, Jack Seiler, David Johnson, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Susie Wiles, Joshua Karp, Jamie Wilson, Alan Becker, Greg C. Truax, Nancy Watkins, Mark Ferrulo, Jim Davis, Robert Wexler, Jackie Lee, Darrick D. McGhee, Damien Filer, Anthony Bonna, Richard DeNapoli, Ron Pierce, Andy Ford, Jim Kitchens, Mike Hightower, Husein Cumber, Alan Stonecipher, Chris Hand, Marty Fiorentino, Richard Gentry, Paul Mitchell, Peter Antonacci, Evan Power, Bill Helmich, Joy-Ann Reid, John Morgan, Steve Geller, Pablo Diaz, Brian Burgess, Ron Sachs, John Wehrung, Dean Cannon, Brian Goff, Marion Hammer, Pete Mitchell, Rick Wilson, Tom Scarritt, Jeff Kottkamp, Beth Leytham, Barry Edwards, Pat Neal, Bob Sparks, Jeff Johnson, Kirk Fordham, Katie Bohnett, Ron Gunzburger, Alex Sink, Roly Marante, Evelyn Perez-Verdia, Steve Uhlfelder, Nancy McGowan, Towson Fraser, Tim Canova, Brian Crowley, Ryan Wiggins, Greg Blair, Bill Lee, Ana Cruz, Mike Hamby, Jason Roth, Jason Rosenberg, Nancy Texeira, Ben Pollara, Geoffrey Becker, Henry Kelley, Eric Eikenberg, Brandon Patty, Scott Barnhart, Allan Bense, Beth Matuga, Aubrey Jewett, Stafford Jones, Javier Manjerres, Stephanie Grutman, Stephen Shiver, Nick Hansen, Jon Ausman, Alan Clendenin, Abel Harding, Rockie Pennington, Mel Sembler, Paula Dockery, Hayden Dempsey, Chip LaMarca, Susan Glickman, Kristy Campbell, Ron Bilbao, Darryl Paulson, Nikki Lowrey, Susan Smith, Dave Aronberg, Seth McKee, Nan Rich, Ashley Bauman, April Schiff, Jon Costello, Cory Tilley, Erik Kirk, Wayne Bertsch, Stephanie McClung, Leslie Wimes, Christina Barker, Doc Dockery, Van Poole, Pete Dunbar, Jim Cherry, Justin Day, Jamie Miller, Stephanie Kunkel, Greg Turbeville, Jack Furnari, Mark Foley, Dan McLaughlin, Josh Geise, Richard Swann, Jon Mills, Andrew Weinstein, Lucy Morgan, Bob Graham, Alberto Martinez, Kathleen Shanahan,

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 4:06pm]


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