Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott ran ads during the GOP primary, attacking his opponent, Attorney General Bill McCollum, for not supporting Arizona’s S.B. 1070 immigration law. But since winning the primary, he has rarely mentioned the issue. His Democratic opponent, Florida CFO Alex Sink, opposes the Arizona immigration law. More from the AP:
The Republican candidates for governor filled the airwaves this summer with ads where they tried to out-Arpaio Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff who became the public face behind that controversial law.
Flash forward to the general election.
Arizona and the “i” word have all but disappeared as GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott seeks to shore up support among Florida’s Hispanic voters. These folks make up 13 percent of the electorate and have a keen antenna for proposals that smack of racial profiling.
Scott has not changed his position on immigration — he’s just focused on the economy and the Obama Administration. His campaign website still says, “Rick supports measures like the Arizona law that allow enforcement of already existing law.”
Despite his support for an Arizona law in Florida, Scott has received the endorsement of many Hispanic Republicans, such as Cuban-American Republican members of Congress Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. (All of them backed his opponent in the primary.) Scott may also benefit from Republican enthusiasm for U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio, the child of Cuban exiles who opposed Republican efforts this summer to look into the issue of birthright citizenship.
It’s a classic case of running to the center after running to his primary opponent’s right in the primary. In addition, his Democratic opponent hasn’t seized on the issue as of yet.
Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.