“Nothing in my life has honored me as much as the willingness of Florida voters to put their faith in my plan for Florida,” Scott said early Wednesday morning to his campaign supporters. “I can't wait to get to work. Thank you for this great honor. God bless the great state of Florida.”
The victory followed two bruising elections for Scott this year, in which he first had to beat Republican Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum in an Aug. 25 primary election that was widely described as unusually bitter. McCollum didn't endorse Scott until late October.
McCollum attacked Scott's time as head of Columbia/HCA, where Scott in 1997 left the top leadership job of the for-profit hospital company he helped build just before it paid the then-largest fine for Medicare fraud in history, $1.7 billion. Sink's campaign against Scott picked up the same threads almost immediately after the primary, hammering on the same tone and theme in what was described by local media as one of the most expensive and negative campaigns in state history.
Scott, who lives in Naples, in 2001 co-founded the statewide chain of walk-in urgent care clinics called Solantic, which is based in Jacksonville and has dozens of sites across the state.