Rick Scott: "Florida is open for business"

5:48 PM, Nov 3, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Rick Scott celebrates election victory

Rick Scott gives his victory speech for the Florida governor's race
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Tampa, Florida -- He was a virtual unknown when he announced in April that he was a candidate for Florida governor. He was painted as a corrupt businessman and spent his personal fortune to get elected. Now Rick Scott is the governor-elect of the Sunshine State.

As he took the podium to declare victory at noon on Wednesday, Rich Scott announced Florida is "open for business."

See Also: Rick Scott wins governor's race
Photos: Click here for photos of the 2010 Election

That was the message Scott drove home during the campaign and he says  voters bought what he was selling. Scott says they heard the message loud and clear that with this election voters, were saying lets get to work Scott says voters also sent a message that proved the experts wrong as noted plenty of pundits, politicians and insiders who were saying the victory was impossible.

Because the race was so close, on Tuesday night there were talks of recount and even legal action. But by daybreak, Democrat Alex Sink -- who spent most of her career as a banker and was used to dealing with numbers -- looked at them again and saw the harsh reality.

Sink told reporters there is no path to victory for her and that Rick Scott will be the next Governor of Florida. As she conceded, Sink noted more than 2 and half million voters did not cast their ballot for Scott. She says she reminded him he will need to reach out to everyone when she called to congratulate Scott and concede.

Although she lost, Sink says she has no regrets about her campaign. She says throughout the race she told herself if she woke on the losing end she wanted it to be as a result of forces beyond her control. According to Sink, because of money and the mood of the country, there were forces beyond her control and now here she is.

And here is Scott, a political novice, who will now run the country's 4th largest state. However, he understands his victory was by a narrow margin. He told his supporters he promises he will work with all Floridians who want the best regardless of politics. He told the crowd starting today he is working for all Floridians.

He also says better days are coming, but  Scott had to blanket the state with commercials to get into a position to try to bring on those better days.

Scott's 10-minute speech was made mostly from prepared remarks, but in one of the lighter moments, he veered from them and talked about his daughters Allison and Jordan.

"I might have lost a little bit of their inheritance," he said, referring to the estimated $73 million of his own money that he spent to win the election. "I decided to run for governor because of them."

While Scott's Family fortune is now smaller, he is "all in" on his promise to put Florida back to work. If he can turn around the economy in the state and bring jobs here, he will be a hero.

However, if Scott can't deliver on his promises he will have blown real money and political capital on rhetoric. With the current economic climate, winning may have been the easy part, now he really needs to "Get to Work."

Mike Deeson, 10 News. Contributing: Bob Rathgeber, Fort Myers News-Press

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