Gubernatorial hopeful Paula Dockery speaks about ultrasound bill, education and her opponents

05/21/10 Arielle Stevenson
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Republican State Senator Paula Dockery spoke at the Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg this afternoon as she begins her run in the gubernatorial GOP primary. Dockery is facing off against Attorney General Bill McCollum and wildcard Naples millionaire Rick Scott. Currently, Dockery has a ways to go in early voter GOP primary polls, which show the relatively unknown Scott with 22% and McCollum with 46%. Dockery, who in the same poll had only 3% of the vote, says that politics remains a game of money.

Dockery’s early campaign financing is significantly lower than that of her opponents, but when asked whether she would stake her own family finances on her campaign and she responded with uncertainty.

On education, the Lakeland senator says not enough focus falls on the importance of Community colleges and trade schools for Florida’s students.

Finances and primary opponents aside, Dockery could face backlash in her campaign as a result of her vote on the controversial abortion amendment passed in the last legislative session. The amendment was a last-minute addition to a broader health care bill, and would require women seeking abortions to first pay for an ultrasound of their unborn child. Dockery voted in favor of the legislation.

But when asked if she would have signed such an amendment if she were elected Governor, Dockery says she would have acted differently.

CEO and Chairman of the St. Petersburg Times, Paul Tash again asked Dockery to clarify her stance on the abortion amendment.

Tash asked Dockery a follow up on her response.

The most recent poll by the Times/ Herald shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink and GOP primary frontrunner Bill McCollum’s numbers are neck and neck, with Sink at 32% and McCollum at 34%.

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One down, two to go

This is shaping up to be a good face off. If McCollum survives his continued advocacy of wing nut issues, how will Florida respond?