Republican Rick Scott beats Democrat Alex Sink for Florida Governor listen11/03/10 Seán Kinane
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Republican Rick Scott will be Florida’s next governor. The Democratic nominee announced this morning in Tampa she would not be able to make up the less-than-70,000 vote difference. The race came down to a razor-thin lead, but with votes still to be counted, Democratic candidate Alex Sink said she called Scott to concede the race.
“He will need to work very hard to bring our state together. Because for the future of our state, I hope Rick Scott remembers that there are 2-and-a-half million Floridians who did not vote for him. And that his highest priority has to be to bring our state together to meet our challenges.”
Scott is the former head of the healthcare company Columbia/HCA. It was fined a record $1.7 billion for Medicare and Medicaid fraud under his tenure, but Scott left the company with a golden parachute and escaped prosecution.
In four other state-wide races, Republicans won handily in Florida. Sink attributes her race being so close to her broad base of financial support and volunteers, in contrast with Scott, who contributed $73 million of his personal wealth to the primary and general election campaigns.
“Seventy thousand contributions to our campaign. More than one million volunteer calls were made over the course of the last three weeks to get out the vote. We fought very, very hard.”
In an acceptance speech this afternoon, Scott promised to bring Floridians together to solve the state’s problems.
"There were plenty of pundits, politicians, and insiders who said that this victory was impossible. But the people of Florida knew exactly what they wanted. With this election they sent a message loud and clear. They said 'let's get to work.'"
Scott will replace Governor Charlie Crist, who dropped his affiliation with the Republican Party in an unsuccessful attempt to beat Marco Rubio for Senate.