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Republican Florida governor candidate profiles


Attorney General Bill McCollum was thought to have a lock on the GOP nomination until Rick Scott came along in April with his massive checkbook. Despite his controversial record as a businessman, Scott may just be the fresh face that alienated voters want to see in 2010.

About the job: The governor is Florida's chief executive, overseeing 16 agencies, and making thousands of appointments to judgeships and policymaking posts. As commander in chief of the state's military, the governor plays a vital role in the state's response to hurricanes, wildfires and other emergencies. Salary: $130,273.

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Know Your Candidates 2010 Primary. More candidate profiles.

Mike McCalister, 58, College professor Bill McCollum, 66, Attorney general Rick Scott, 57

Business executive
Experience Mike McCalister of Plant City is a first-time candidate who pitches himself as the most prepared person in the race, with 33 years of experience in the military and a background steeped in economics, strategic planning, national security and executive leadership . McCalister teaches at Everglades University in Sarasota and the University of Phoenix in Tampa. He left the military in 2005 with the rank of colonel at the Special Operations Command in Tampa. McCollum has the experience. The question is whether his resume is what angry and desperate voters are looking for this year. The lawyer and Brooksville native served two decades in Congress where he was known as an expert on crime and terrorism. Such a profile also is the essence of a career politician, a risky image in 2010. After leaving Capitol Hill, he lost Senate races in 2000 and 2004, then won the state attorney general's post in 2006. This is his fourth statewide race in a decade.. The multimillionaire from Naples, a Missouri native who retired to Florida in 2003, is making his first bid for office and has shaken the political establishment to its core with a self-funded TV ad campaign never seen in a Florida race. Previously a practicing lawyer, Scott built the Columbia/HCA hospital conglomerate, which grew to become Florida's largest private employer. He was ousted in 1997 amid a federal probe that led to a record $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud.
Education Ph.D. in management from Union Institute, Cincinnati, 1994 Bachelor's degree,University of Florida, 1965; Juris Doctor, University of Florida, 1968 Bachelor's, business administration, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1975; Juris Doctor, Southern Methodist University, 1978
What is the most important step to creating jobs in Florida? "We must establish a political, legal and economic climate that includes lower taxes and incentives to relocate and keep jobs." Long-term plans should include improvement in education. Keep taxes low; provide tax breaks to high-tech firms; make it harder to sue businesses; unify job-creation efforts in the governor's office. "We need somebody to take charge of growing our economy." Elect him: "I am the only candidate in this race with a track record in creating private-sector jobs. I have a comprehensive plan that will create 700,000 jobs in seven years."
Do you support or oppose a constitutional ban on near-shore drilling? Oppose. "I support the current state law already on the books prohibiting drilling in state waters." Support. "If it's there and it's up there (on the ballot), I would vote for it. But I personally don't think it's necessary, and I wouldn't have called the (special legislative) session." Oppose. "I live right on the beach, on the gulf side. We need not drill until we can do it safely. But the disaster doesn't change the fact that we need to become energy independent. It is a national security and economic issue."
How would you eliminate the projected state budget deficit? "I would call for a complete review of the entire state budget … with particular focus on decreasing government and government waste." By providing more incentives for firms to add jobs, making tough decisions and setting priorities. "We're going to have to make some very tough choices. … I am not here today to tell you what they're going to be." "If career politicians knew how to get us out of this recession, they would have done it already." His plan: accountability budgeting, less spending and growing the economy.
Assets Home, $390,000; Plant City tree farm, $290,000 Ranchland in Brooksville, $408,000; Longwood home, $248,000 Investments, stocks, bonds, $209 million; Naples home, $8.8 million
Liabilities $222,000 mortgage; $4,000 home equity loan Mortgage, $66,917

Income $53,000, teaching; $52,000, Ventiv pharmacy consultant State salary, $138,607; Congressional pension, $81,756 Investment income, $8.3 million
Personal Divorced, one grown son Married, three sons Married, two daughters

Republican Florida governor candidate profiles 08/04/10 [Last modified: Thursday, August 19, 2010 5:47pm]
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