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Politics

Rick Scott Makes Nice to Bill McCollum, But Still No Endorsement

September 13, 2010 - 6:00pm

While the Republican Party of Florida wined and dined this past weekend to rally the party faithful behind the GOP nominees, the bitter primary battle between victor Rick Scott and Attorney General Bill McCollum continues to linger -- with McCollum continuing to refuse to endorse Scott.

Three weeks after losing the gubernatorial primary to Scott, McCollum sent out an e-mail to supporters late Monday, pledging to remain active and work for Republicans in Novembers elections -- but still not backing Scott.

Although the primary election did not give us the results we worked so hard to achieve, your constant confidence and support throughout the campaign was greatly appreciated, wrote McCollum. Post-election analysis shows we won the Election Day vote, but it was not enough to overcome the lead my opponent amassed in absentee and early votes (46 percent of the votes were cast before Election Day).

This campaign was never about me, but about making Florida great again for our kids and grandkids, continued McCollum who also touched on his legal challenge to new federal health-care laws backed by President Barack Obama. Im proud of the campaign we ran and of our focus on addressing the states most challenging issues in the toughest of economic times. Serving as a Navy JAG officer, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and now as your attorney general has been a privilege for which I am indebted beyond measure to the people of Florida.

McCollum, who ran for statewide office and lost in 2000, 2004 and last month, added that he will continue to be politically active through his website, his Facebook page and his Twitter account.

We will use these tools to help rally support for Republicans in November and to advance the conservative causes I know will return prosperity to our state for generations to come, concluded McCollum.

But while McCollum promised to help Republicans in the election, he did not offer an endorsement of Scott.

Scottresponded Tuesday morning by offering high praise to McCollum for his legal challenge against the federal health-care laws.

Today marks the beginning of what many of us hope is a rollback of the single largest government power grab in history the federal lawsuit against President Obamas government health-care plan, said Scott. Floridians are truly fortunate that Attorney General Bill McCollum had the foresight and took the initiative to bring this lawsuit to protect the rights of all Floridians against President Obamas big government power grab.

Scott's strong words of praise were an olive branch, specifically held out to McCollum after a bitter primary.

While Attorney General McCollum and I may have had our differences on the campaign trail, when it comes to this lawsuit and rolling back Obamacare, we speak with one voice we must protect Floridians' freedom to make their own health-care choices, said Scott.This lawsuit is destined to become one of the most consequential in American history and all Floridians owe Attorney General McCollum a debt of gratitude for his continued work and leadership to protect our rights and the Constitution.

Reach Kevin Derby at derby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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