On the same day Gov. Rick Scott declared “victory” with the announcement that Office Depot would be making its corporate headquarters in Boca Raton, the governor had a different kind of victory in mind, too.
Winning re-election in the 2014 governor’s race.
Scott officially opened a campaign account Tuesday and filed paperwork to kick off his campaign for a second term, according to the Division of Elections website.
The move was a formality – there hasn’t been serious doubt about Scott’s intentions since he first took office – but the campaign account does open a new fundraising option.
And money isn’t going to be in short supply for a governor who spent $73 million of his own money to win the job in the 2010 race when he defeated former Attorney General Bill McCullum for the GOP nomination then won narrowly over Democrat Alex Sink in the general election.
A separate committee supporting Scott’s re-election, “Let’s Get to Work” has raised almost $20 million for Scott’s re-election already.
Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who is now seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Scott, has reported raising about $3 million in his campaign account and through a separate committee called “Charlie Crist for Florida,” according to the News Service of Florida.
On Tuesday, Scott touted the announcement that Office Depot, which merged in November with Officemax, would be setting up shop in Boca Raton, as another sign that efforts to improve the state’s business climate are paying off.
Since Scott took office on a platform based almost entirely on bringing jobs to the Sunshine State, the unemployment rate has fallen from 11.4 percent to 6.7 percent. Just last week, a columnist for the Forbes financial magazine cited the decision by the Hertz rental car company to set up its headquarters in Lee County as a sign that Florida is open for business.
“We worked hard to win this new headquarters for Florida – and today’s victory will no doubt be a game changer for Florida and Boca Raton,” Scott said in a statement.
“With the assets of OfficeMax and Office Depot, this newly formed Fortune 300 Company will add more jobs and capital investment, retain 2,000 existing jobs, and create new opportunities for Florida families.
“Today’s win builds on this year’s news that Hertz – another Fortune 300 Company – is relocating their headquarters to Southwest, Florida. Our success in landing the headquarters of two Fortune 300 companies in one year is remarkable. It’s the result of our work to create an opportunity economy with low taxes that allows innovators and job creators to succeed.”
Video: Boca celebrates Office Depot news