Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rick Scott, state's next governor, calls for Floridians to unite

Republican Gov.-elect Rick Scott secured a razor-thin victory in his costly campaign for governor Wednesday, after Democrat Alex Sink ended an overnight drama that saw both candidates waiting for results to trickle in from South Florida.

" Florida is open for business," Scott said at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, where he took to the podium shortly after noon flanked by his wife and two daughters. "There were plenty of pundits and insiders who said this victory was impossible, but the people of Florida knew exactly what they wanted."

Scott, who used an overwhelming money advantage, a promise to create 700,000 jobs and a slogan of "Let's get to work" to edge Sink, said his rival "ran quite a race." And he declared it was now time for him and his lieutenant governor, former state Rep. Jennifer Carroll of Jacksonville, to put political divisions aside.

"Jennifer and I are eager to start bringing people together to solve our problems," Scott said. In a reference to the $73 million of his personal fortune he spent on the campaign, he added, "My daughters are the reason I decided to run for governor. They might have lost a little inheritance. I knew I owed them to live the same chance to live the American dream that Ann and I have."

With virtually all the votes counted, Scott led by 68,277 – out of 5.3 million cast -- the closest race in Florida since 1876 and the first time in more than 100 years that a Florida governor was elected with less than 50 percent of the vote, state officials said.

FYI...there are about 14 million Floridians of voting age.

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