Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott named his campaign co-chairs today, which immediately caught the attention of the folks at Democrat Alex Sink’s campaign. They were quick to send a note reminding us all that several of them had asked Scott to essentially drop out of the race in August, citing Florida Independent reporting in the process.
State Sen. Joe Negron and state Reps. Clay Ford, Alan Hays, Dave Murzin, Scott Plakon, Trudi Williams, and Ritch Workman, seven of the 104 “honorary co-chairs” of the Scott campaign, sent the letter on Aug. 10, during Scott’s primary battle against Attorney General Bill McCollum. They asked Scott to release a deposition he had given in a civil suit against the walk-in clinic chain he founded, Solantic, or drop out of the race. Scott had repeatedly said he would not release the deposition. So that meant they wanted him to drop out of the race.
The letter stated in part:
We ask that you release your deposition and all documents related to and concerning lawsuits against Solantic in order to provide the transparency the public wants and deserves. By keeping your involvement in this case shrouded in secrecy, you will become a major liability for Republican candidates on this year’s ballot if your campaign is successful. If you remain unwilling to release these materials and answer questions on these issues, we believe you should immediately withdraw from the race for the good of our party and the conservative cause in Florida.
During the primary, Scott embraced the role of an outsider and ticked off the GOP, whose leadership clearly preferred that McCollum. But after Scott won the nomination, he and the Republican leadership have tried to smooth over any lingering hostility.
The Sink campaign is still trying to keep Scott’s refusal to release the deposition a live issue. In their release, they maintain the matter is still relevant because of “more recent allegations of overcharging Medicare, and a number of lawsuits alleging discrimination including reports of how he refused someone a job because of a Hispanic accent,” two allegations which were first made public here and here in stories published by The Florida Independent.