Republican candidate for governor Rick Scott has received the endorsement of FreedomWorks PAC, an organizing group associated with the tea party.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said in a statement, “We are pleased to add Rick Scott to our list of endorsed candidates this election season. Although FreedomWorks PAC does not endorse many candidates running for governor, we believe that Scott will best serve the interests of hardworking Florida taxpayers by advocating the principles of lower taxes, less government and more individual freedom.”
FreedomWorks, a Washington D.C.-based group chaired by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey, has spent $500,000 to organize the “Taxpayer March on Washington” and helped train and organize activists for some of the health-care reform town halls a year ago. Others in the tea party have criticized the group for trying to co-opt it into the Republican Party.
Tea party members in Florida have by and large supported Scott. Scott has spoken at tea party rallies throughout the state throughout his campaign. A group called the Florida TEA Party endorsed Scott as well, but Republicans and tea party activists have accused the group of being a front group for Rep. Alan Grayson.
Scott has also encountered tea party protesters, most notably at a South Florida town hall and at a press conference where he denounced a deal between U.S. Sugar and the State of Florida for Everglades Restoration. Those videos are posted below: