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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott's storm-free convention presence is FL's biggest in years



With his prime-time speaking slot and a role as a Donald Trump surrogate, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a much bigger presence at this Republican convention than he did four years ago in his home state in Tampa. Not only that, but this is the biggest mark a Florida governor has made at his party's political convention in a long time, and you can thank the weather for that.

Scott's abbreviated appearance at the Tampa convention in 2012 was due to Tropical Storm Isaac. The storm had dissipated by the time he made an appearance, which added to a perception that Scott wasn't very enthusiastic about Mitt Romney's candidacy. 

Four years before that, then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist skipped the party's Minneapolis convention because of Tropical Storm Fay, but he sent a videotaped speech. (Fay was a monstrous rain event. You knew it was serious when legislators cancelled fund-raisers at the Governor's Club). And in New York City in 2004, Gov. Jeb Bush stayed close to home for obvious reasons: Hurricane Charley had already slammed the state and Frances was on her way (to be followed in that devastating year by Ivan and Jeanne). But even with no storm brewing at the 2000 GOP convention in Philadelphia -- where his brother George W. was nominated the first time -- Jeb kept a low profile.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 4:31pm]


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