Could Rick Scott Face a Republican Primary Challenger?
Some Democrats are already smiling like they've got Florida's 2014 gubernatorial race in the bag, and with Rick Scott's consistently abysmal poll numbers, it's easy to see why. Though, that also might explain while there's a brewing interest among some GOP circles to see someone run against Scott in a potential GOP primary.
Whether you agree with Scott's political leanings or not, it's hard to argue against the fact that he's just plan bad at the art of politics. His administration has been responsible for one disaster after another, involving everything from welfare drug testing to high speed rail. The Election Day long-lines debacle, which many blame on Scott-spearheaded voter reform laws, was just the latest straw. It doesn't help that the guy has a personality like a block of wood. Even with out any sort of major ethical scandal, it's not surprising he has some of the lowest approval rates of any governor in America.
Though, certain Republicans tend to live in la-la land and don't hide their disdain for all this fancy polling, some in the party aren't exactly pleased with the idea of having the unpopular Scott on the top of their ticket in 2014.
"It will cause trouble in the party, but I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure we don't go into 2014 with Rick Scott leading our ticket," an unnamed GOP county chairman told The Tampa Tribune.
The movement to potentially run a primary challenger against Scott is still in its infancy, and may not come to fruition, so few people are willing to go on the record. Though, sources told the Tribune that they believe someone like Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater or Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam could have the name recognition and resources to pull of the feat.
Atwater wouldn't comment to the Tribune. Putnam has previously said he doesn't anticipate a primary, and while it's widely expected he'll make a run for governor one day, he's only 38 and has time to wait.
Former GOP Chairman Tom Slade also mentioned state Sen. Don Thrasher as a possible primary challenger, but said he's only heard whispers to that effect.
Of course, since term limits in Florida only prevent a governor from serving more than two consecutive terms, Jeb Bush is free to run, but don't hold your breath.
A challenge to Scott wouldn't be easy, though. He still has his base of support, especially among the types of people who tend to vote in GOP primaries. Scott's problem isn't like that of Charlie Crist, where he's drifted too far into moderate territory. Rather, Scott has maintained a hardline conservative stance that has distanced himself from the more moderate members of Florida's general electorate.
And while he's decided to raise funds to finance his reelection effort, he still has his own fortune to tap into to fend off a potential primary challenger.
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