TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – While former Governor Charlie Crist continues to put the final preparations on a Monday announcement that will likely kick off his campaign to win his old job back; Governor Rick Scott hasn’t officially announced his re-election campaign.
Governor Scott will almost assuredly run for re-election especially in light of his move to moderate his policies in recent months. Scott said in jest that there’s only one thing that can keep him from running for another term as Florida’s governor.
“Unless my wife tells me she’s dumping me, I’m running for a second term,” Scott told Bay News 9’s “Political Connections” show back in 2011.
And Let’s Get to Work, a fund-raising arm of Scott’s 2010 campaign, has already raised $13 million this year in preparation for what could be one of the most expensive runs in state history. That does away with some of the urgency of setting up the formal fundraising account that will back Scott’s re-election effort.
But Scott has not held a campaign kick-off event, has not formally filed for the office and has yet to select a lieutenant governor, who will serve as his running mate in the 2014 campaign. His first lieutenant governor, former state Rep. Jennifer Carroll, resigned in March.
“There’s just no rush,” said Susie Wiles, who was Scott’s campaign manager in 2010. “He is busy being governor and doing the things he said he would do when was elected the first time.”
The main reason for making an early announcement, to build name identification with voters through the media and campaign ads, doesn’t exist for Scott, who is traveling around the state as governor.
Republican strategist Rick Wilson agreed there’s no hurry for a formal event — if one even comes at all.
“I don’t think there’s a hard requirement that Rick Scott goes out and does a banners-and-bunting announcement,” Wilson said.
Crist, according to Wilson, is in a different position. The former Republican and former independent still needs to reintroduce himself to Democrats, and will be hit by the GOP over job losses while Crist was governor. Scott and his supporters have already begun arguing that the current governor is bringing those jobs back.
“He doesn’t have to chase Charlie Crist,” Wilson said of Scott. “Charlie Crist has to chase him.”
Wiles and Sen. John Thrasher, who chaired the Republican Party of Florida during Scott’s 2010 run, both said Scott will likely do something to make his re-election bid official. But Thrasher also said it will likely come later.
“Timing for announcing all that is not, I don’t think, all that important,” Thrasher said.
Rumors are already running rampant that Scott will announce a lieutenant governor selection — perhaps Thrasher — as soon as Friday. Wilson said the impact of any lieutenant governor selection on the voting in 2014 would be minor.
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