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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott follows Donald Trump, Ted Cruz as 'statesman of the year'



Donald Trump got it last year. Ted Cruz the year before. Now Gov. Rick Scott is next in line to get the Sarasota Republican Party's suddenly nationally-noted Statesman of the Year Award.

Sarasota Republican Party Chairman Joe Gruters said the party will officially give Scott their annual award on April 21 at a ceremony in Sarasota.

What was a mostly local award five years ago, has been evolving into a national draw ever since Trump first won the award in 2012, luring more than 1,000 to the ceremony on the eve of the Republican National Convention in Tampa that year. Trump repeatedly played up the award on national television interviews.

The next year, nearly 1,600 showed up to watch FOX News host Sean Hannity win the award. And 1,000 showed up for Cruz in 2014. Last year, Trump won the award for a second time and had nearly 1,600 people come out to hear him get the award.

Tickets for the Scott event on April 21 range from $125 and to $2,000.  


[Last modified: Monday, March 21, 2016 3:25pm]


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