Make us your home page

Rick Scott will be schmoozer-in-chief at GOP convention

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's image as an outsider will officially come to an end at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, where he'll serve as a hometown host of the four-day party.

When he isn't polishing his convention speech, Scott will rub elbows with deep-pocketed GOP donors and reconnect with people who worked on his campaign two years ago.

It'll be a shift for Scott, who ran against — and soundly defeated — the Republican Party establishment in 2010.

For a governor who's definitely not a natural schmoozer, the role of party animal is not an easy transition.

"I hope you can join me for what is sure to be a wonderful experience!" Scott says in a "Dear Friend" Republican Party letter to several hundred party bigwigs, with special invitations to private events.

On Sunday, Aug. 26, Scott will host a private VIP reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on the waterfront patio of Jackson's Bistro, 601 S Harbor Island Blvd., Tampa.

The following night, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be the venue for Scott's "Grand Ole Reunion Party." The cocktail reception will salute the people who worked on his 2010 campaign, including Adam Hollingsworth, who now serves as Scott's third chief of staff.

At the convention, Republican insiders will be invited to the Florida Hospitality Suite, described as "8,200 square feet of food, drinks and fun for sponsors and delegates," along with a VIP lounge for "special guests" of the governor. The cocktails will begin flowing at 4 p.m. daily.

Other events for the Florida delegation include the Old Cigar Factory's hospitality reception; a Monday afternoon trip to Busch Gardens; a Dolphin Tale luncheon Tuesday at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium; a CSX cocktail reception on company rail cars Tuesday evening; an excursion to the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs on Wednesday and a Wednesday night concert by country singer John Anderson at the Innisbrook resort in Palm Harbor.

Scott, always on message, said his theme at the convention will be the same as when he ran for governor.

"What I'm going to talk about is pretty much what I did every day when I ran. It's how we get our state back to work," Scott said.

Steve Bousquet can be reached at or (850) 224-7263.

Rick Scott will be schmoozer-in-chief at GOP convention 08/17/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 9:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.