Associated Industries of Florida officially backs Gov. Rick Scott, Cabinet incumbents

One of the most important business groups in Florida cut short its endorsement process Monday to officially back Gov. Rick Scott and the incumbent Florida Cabinet for re-election this fall.


Associated Industries of Florida endorsed Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater without having to interview any other candidates because of their demonstrated commitment to strengthening Florida’s economy, said John R. Smith, chairman of the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County.

“There’s no question that those four have been a big help attracting jobs to our state,” said Smith, who is also Chairman of  BPR. “The reason Florida is successful is because there’s a strong sense of accountability.”

None of the incumbents are facing serious primary challenges.

So far, Scott’s likely opponent is former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist who is battling former state Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich for the Democratic nomination.

Two Democrats, former Department of Children and Families Secretary Sheldon George and House Minority Leader Thurston Perry, D-Fort Lauderdale, are competing to challenge Bondi for attorney general.

Putnam’s only challenger for agriculture commissioner is Democrat Thaddeus “Thad” Hamilton, a retired Army officer. Atwater’s only challenger is Democrat William Rankin, the owner of a home- and business-security firm in Deerfield Beach.


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