Only in America: $50 million dollars of his personal fortune later, Rick Scott is the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Florida, the AP projects. Though Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum spoke moments ago and did not concede, with 90% of precincts reporting, Scott leads McCollum 47-43, and the AP and CNN have called the race.
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This is how he did it. Starting as virtually a complete unknown, Scott blitzed Florida with TV ads ripping McCollum as an establishment sell-out. McCollum, caught off-guard and underfunded, tried desperately to battle back from the onslaught, emptying his campaign coffers and calling in public support from establishment leaders.
The mainstream Republican party had a reason to fear Scott. He carries with him the baggage of the $1.7 billion in federal fines leveled against his company, Columbia HCA, for Medicare fraud. Plus he's extremely conservative, which could be a tough sell in a general election fight.
But in the end, all the establishment's horses and all of its men couldn't put McCollum together again. His campaign -- never all that exciting in the best of circumstances -- simply couldn't raise the support needed to push McCollum past Scott's big money and conservative message.