Monday, May 21, 2018
Politics

Isaac long gone from Florida, but Rick Scott still staying away from RNC

TAMPA — Gov. Rick Scott was in Palm Beach and Key West Wednesday on Day 2 of the Republican National Convention. The host state governor canceled all of his RNC events, including a prime-time speech, because of the threat of Isaac, but even though the storm's threat to Florida has long since passed, Scott remains far from Tampa. His schedule Wednesday included a stop at Palm Beach County's emergency operations center, and appearances at the Ernest Hemingway Museum in Key West and the state's southernmost point, an iconic picture-taking spot for Florida tourists.

First Lady Ann Scott, who like the governor was a voting member of the Florida RNC delegation, is staying at the couple's home in Naples, the governor's office said. The Scott's did not participate in Tuesday's roll call vote for president, but it's unclear who if anyone replaced them.

Scott's communications director, Brian Burgess, said the governor feels it's important to visit areas where Isaac caused damage — Key West on Wednesday and the western Panhandle on Thursday. With the Labor Day weekend approaching, Burgess said, Scott wanted to reinforce the pro-tourism message that the state is "open for business."

Scott planned to fly back to Tallahassee Wednesday evening. Asked if he plans to visit the convention on its last day Thursday, Burgess said: "He hasn't ruled it out ... That hasn't been decided." Burgess said Scott has been too busy at night speaking with emergency managers to watch convention coverage on TV.

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