Yesterday's Florida Primary send a strong signal to the Republican Party of Florida: Shape Up or Ship Out. Rick Scott upset the Republican establishment by beating their candidate and current Attorney General Bill McCollum. Scott spent $40 million of his money to do it. The most shocking issue to me is that Rick Scott's company was convicted of one of the largest Medicare fraud schemes in history - and no one cared. In fact, one person said "All politicians are corrupt - at least his transgressions are out on the table." Scott won on a strong message of being a party outsider and "Let's Get to Work." That theme easily resonated with people who have faced all types of corruption within the Republican Party over that last 24 months. The $40 million didn't hurt as Scott purchased lots of air time and our mailbox filled with his glossy brochures. He dominated. I can't even tell you what McCollum's message was. McCollum basically drowned in Scott's millions.
The general election will be very interesting. Scott positioned himself to the right of McCollum for primary - pro-Arizona immigration legislation, anti health care reform. I am curious to see if he sticks to that message and draws Sink (the Democratic) contender to the middle. Or if Sink is able to hold her ground and those voters who are truly centrists are the ones facing the stark choice. As with most Florida elections - this will be one to watch.