Lazaro Aleman, ECB Publishing, Inc.
About 80 or so people gathered recently at the Grand Oaks Plantation off the Boston Highway to show support for Gov. Rick Scott in his bid for the U.S. Senate seat against incumbent Bill Nelson.
Scott arrived at the outdoor affairs some 15 minutes late and began immediately mingling with the crowd, visiting with his supporters one-on-one or in small groupings, all the while slowly making his way across the patio to the pavilion where he was to speak.
Wearing boots, blue jeans and his Navy cap, Scott was casual and low-key in his demeanor, and he kept his public remarks to the crowd brief, speaking for some 15 minutes, compared to the half hour or more that he spend visiting individually with supporters.
Scott in his comments praised Sheriff Mac McNeill, who served on his security detail seven years and introduced the Governor. Scott then reminisced about his first election, which he said the pollsters hadn't expected him to win.
“Election night we shook everyone up,” Scott said. “We won.”
He spoke about growing up poor in public housing, the second of five children; about his strong-willed mother and her insistence that he regularly attend church; and his “wonderful” but poor adoptive father. He also touched briefly on his years in the Navy, his long marriage to his wife Anne, and their two daughters and five grandchildren.
Scott then got down to his political message. He touted among his successes as Governor the turning around of the state's economy and creating jobs, reducing crime, and producing one of the best educational systems in the country.
“So we're kicking everybody’s rear,” Scott said.
He said if elected he would work to set term limits, give the president a line-item veto, and do away with Obamacare. He also criticized senators, whom he said made annual salaries of $174,000 and “don't do much work.”
Scott urged his supporters to go to the polls and vote.
“Statewide races are not won by landslides,” he said. “They are won by less than 100,000 votes. If everybody gets out and votes, we'll win.”