Rick Scott is preparing to defend his Florida governorship with the most expensive reelection campaign in state history, drawing up plans for a battleship-sized political operation aimed at overcoming the Republican’s deep personal unpopularity.
The anticipated price tag, according to sources familiar with Scott’s plans: $100 million.
Scott is no stranger to heavy spending; the former hospital care executive put some $73 million of his own money into an insurgent 2010 primary campaign and a narrow general election win. His TV ads saturated the Florida airwaves for months.
But Scott’s 2014 campaign — possibly pitting him against party-switching former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist as the Democratic candidate — won’t just be a jacked-up version of the 2010 version, knowledgeable Republicans said. In addition to darkening the sky with paid media, Scott’s team is looking at the possibility of creating a state-specific data and analytics division, either within the campaign or at the Republican Party of Florida.