Faced with a choice between a long-serving politician or a wealthy businessman, Florida Republicans rejected the experience argument and nominated a political neophyte to run for governor.
Businessman Rick Scott defeated Attorney General Bill McCollum Tuesday to claim the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Scott took 47 percent of the vote to 43 for McCollum. Republican Mike McAllister may have played spoiler, taking 10 percent of the vote. With most of the precincts reporting, The Associated Press declared Scott the winner.
McCollum has not conceded the race, according to local news reports.
The Republican Governors Association put out a tepid statement of support for Scott Tuesday night.
“Intraparty struggles are often difficult to watch, and the contest in Florida has been a good example of that. That said, the primary is over, Rick Scott is the nominee, the general election has begun, and our party now looks forward,” spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.
Scott and McCollum ran a negative campaign, which may have contributed to McAllister’s showing.