Our Pick: McCollum for Governor
Conservative activist and multi-millionaire Rick Scott entered this race with little name recognition, but with massive financial resources. His television ad blitz rocketed him into
contention, and eventually the lead.
In their advertising, the Scott campaign pulled no punches. They painted Attorney General Bill McCollum as a career politician who has made the majority of his living off the public dime, as a Congressman for two decades and now as Attorney General. And they were correct.
Scott’s ads were occasionally misleading, particularly as they attempted to paint McCollum as soft on illegal immigration. He’s not.
Returning fire, the McCollum campaign has practiced scorched earth politics with whatever money they could muster. The use of “independent” 527 groups and Republican Party of Florida resources has helped fuel a resurgence for McCollum.
The charges that Scott’s former company, Columbia/HCA, defrauded taxpayers are very much grounded in reality. While claims that Scott “personally profitted from abortions” are misleading and embarrassing.
Scott’s own background as the head of hospital chain Columbia/HCA raises serious ethical questions. But more serious in our view was the candidate’s refusal to engage McCollum in a true
Are these two men the best choice that the Republican Party has to offer voters? Probably not.
The root of that problem goes back to early 2009, when then-Republican Governor Charlie Crist announced he was running for U.S. Senate. That decision set a chain reaction of candidates scrambling up the ladder.
Just as quickly, Jim Greer and the Republican Party of Florida attempted to step in and close down the primary system. They unsuccessfully pressured Marco Rubio to get out of the Senate race, talked Charles Bronson out of running for Governor and generally attempted to shut the
door on contested primaries as a way to conserve resources for the general election.
State Senator Paula Dockery was the first candidate to buck Greer and attempt to challenge McCollum, but her campaign found fundraising to be nearly impossible when the party’s
leadership had already decided who they would support.
Rick Scott was one of the few people who could actually mount a challenge to McCollum, because he’s paying his own way.
Whichever way this race goes, Republicans will need to rally around the winner of the primary in a big way. Either of these men would be vastly better for our state than likely Democratic nominee Alex Sink.
Rick Scott’s inability to speak in anything but scripted sound bites has worn thin. Bill McCollum has a long record as a capable public servant. He’s right on the issues that matter and voters
actually know who they’re voting for.
He may not be exciting or a particularly visionary figure, but he’s clearly the safest choice for
Republicans, and likely has the best chance of defeating Sink in November.
We endorse Bill McCollum.