If Gov. Rick Scott gets the backing of the business community in his 2014 re-election bid, it is only because they have no other choice, says Robert Trigaux of the Tampa Bay Times.
Polling suggests Scott is weak on a number of issues, and may lose the 2014 race on any one of them. It is the subject of the Florida economy and jobs — two subjects necessary to the business community — where Scott stays on message
However, according to Trigaux, Scott’s message of a low-tax, business friendly state is “superficial,” especially in light of Florida’s low-wage jobs and rising costs. Then again, Scott has been a terrific cheerleader for business, as someone willing to call out-of-state executives personally to get them to expand into the Sunshine State.
On the other hand, is there another candidate for the business community to get behind, instead of Scott? Democrats may have little to offer in 2014.
For the potential Democratic business-friendly candidates, former CFO Alex Sink may be a business insider, and Charlie Crist is certainly a charismatic figure, but doubts remain on both.
Sink may not be ready for another run for office; Crist’s evolution from Republican to Democrat is too close to “flip-flopping.”
Few other statewide Democrats inspire confidence to business leaders. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s age is causing leaders to question his willingness to submit to another campaign. Former state Sen. Nan Rich, the only announced Democrat in the race, has yet to garner interest beyond her South Florida base.
Another factor is the money; Scott is expected net $100 million for his re-election.
With Scott’s continued “jobs, jobs, jobs” mantra, few are rising to challenge him on the point, no matter how shallow it might be. Business leaders might be left with little choice but to support him next year.