Dockery drops out of Florida governor’s race
By Steve Bousquet
In the wake of a new statewide poll showing her at 3 percent, Republican state Sen. Paula Dockery of Lakeland announced Monday she’s dropping out of the race for governor, which will leave a two-man competition between Attorney General Bill McCollum and health care executive Rick Scott for the GOP nomination.
“It is with mixed feeligns that I end my campaign to be your next governor,” Dockery said in a statement. “People who know me know I’m a tenacious fighter unafraid of long odds, especially when the states are so high. But I’m also a realist and understand the costs of effectively competing statewide. At this point in the election cycle, I see no financial path to victory.”
Scott’s decision to spend millions of dollars of his own money to power an outsider TV message — and his 22-percent showing in that same poll — simply pulled the rug out from under Dockery.
Dockery, 48, a feisty and well-informed but underfinanced candidate, entered the race six months ago with a message of reform and an emphasis on cleaning up the sordid mess at the Republican Party and breaking up the culture of backroom dealing in Tallahassee. She is eligible to stay in the Senate through 2012.
Her farewell statement had a bittersweet tone to it, and one of appreciation for all the people she met along the way. “Our reform message resonated well with the thousands of people we reached and I am grateful and humbled by teh outpouring of enthusiasm, encouragement and support I received as I logged thousands of miles on the white Ford Explorer.”
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