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Rick Scott declines to endorse in Florida primary

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Gov. Rick Scott won’t be wading any deeper into presidential politics — at least not yet.

The Naples Republican on Thursday said he would not endorse a candidate before the March 15 Republican primary. In a statement on his Facebook page, Scott said he has made it his practice “not to get involved in primaries because picking the Republican candidate is the voters’ job.”

“The political class opposed me when I first ran for office, they did not want a businessman outsider, but the voters had other ideas,” he wroter. “I trust the voters, so I will not try to tell the Republican voters in Florida how to vote by endorsing a candidate before our primary on March 15. I believed in the voters when I first ran for office, and I still believe in them today.”

Scott has long been rumored to be on the verge of endorsing Republican front-runner Donald Trump. As Trump held a news conference in Palm Beach County as Super Tuesday results rolled in, some reporters speculated that Scott was on hand to throw his support behind the New York businessman.

In January, Scott wrote a glowing guest editorial about Trump in USA Today. In that article, Scott said Trump was “capturing the frustration of many Americans.”

Scott on Wednesday said he was still searching for a candidate focused on jobs and the economy. He told reporters Wednesday would support the Republican nominee.

On Thursday, Scott again said he was looking for a candidate focused on economic growth.

“I continue to believe that economic growth and job creation is the most crucial issue for the next President to tackle,” he said in his Facebook post. “We have turned our economy around here in Florida by bringing conservative free market principles to government. Without economic growth, our country will fail to become stronger domestically or internationally.”

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