George Scarborough declares he won’t run in special election for House District 2

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A day after Governor Rick Scott finalized the dates for a special election in House District 2 to replace Representative Clay Ford, oft-mentioned potential candidate George Scarborough (brother of Mornin’ Joe Scarborough) has taken himself out of the race.

“After prayerful consideration, it has become evident that my responsibilities at home and at work will prevent me from aggressively campaigning for the District 2 Seat in the Florida House of Representatives,” said Scarborough in a letter addressed to “Friends, Family and Neighbors” (the full text of the letter is below).

Gov. Scott on Wednesday scheduled a May 14 special primary election and a June 11 special general election.

House District 2 includes coastal communities in the far western Panhandle.

Full text of Scarborough’s letter:

I am passionate about improving the quality of life for my hometown and all of Northwest Florida. That’s why I have been honored by the encouragement from friends across Florida about running for Clay Ford’s seat in the Florida Legislature. Representative Ford served our community well and it would be an honor for anyone to be his successor.

My work at the Studer Group has given me the opportunity to help improve the quality of healthcare across the country and that is knowledge I could take to Tallahassee. Unfortunately, rural and Critical Access Hospitals across the country are being disproportionately impacted by Obamacare and Sequestration and our coaching services are in great demand to help them make their organizations better places for employees to work, for physicians to practice medicine and for patients to receive care, while dealing with tighter operating margins as a result of reduced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. As one of Studer Group’s Rural Hospital Partner Development Specialists I have an opportunity every day to talk to hospital CEOs across the country and to significantly expand the impact of our work in rural healthcare. Over the next 12 to 18 months, as Obamacare begins to have a negative impact on healthcare providers across the country, many rural hospitals will be actively seeking our assistance, and I also feel I have an obligation to assist them in keeping badly needed healthcare services available to residents of rural communities across the country.

On a personal level, my son graduates from Gulf Breeze High School this summer and my wife, Sara, and I will be doing all we can to assist him as he prepares to go off to college this fall. We will want to spend as much focused time with him this summer before we become Empty Nesters.

After prayerful consideration, it has become evident that my responsibilities at home and at work will prevent me from aggressively campaigning for the District 2 Seat in the Florida House of Representatives. As my late dad always taught me, you shouldn’t do anything unless you can give it your all. The people of my hometown deserve nothing less than that total commitment.

I am so grateful for the constant encouragement that I have received from family, my colleagues at Studer Group and my friends in Pensacola, Gulf Breeze and Tallahassee over these past couple of weeks as I have explored this opportunity. The timing, however, for me to enter the public arena is does not appear to be right for me at this time, but I will certainly look very seriously at other opportunities to fight for the interests of Northwest Florida in the coming months and years.

God bless,

George Scarborough

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.