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U.S. Sugar, Realtors, others fortify Scott's campaign fund

While Gov. Rick Scott was in Paris last week promoting Florida as a destination for aerospace jobs, his re-election campaign fund was getting a sizeable infusion of money from sugar growers and others.

From The News Service of Florida:

Scott's "Let's Get to Work" political committee posted $695,447 in contributions from 91 sources during the time he was highlighting the state to foreign aviation interests as part of Enterprise Florida's trade mission to the Paris Air Show. The Tallahassee-based committee supporting Scott has drawn more than $6.6 million since the start of the year, with $1.27 million coming since the start of June.

In 2012, the group collected $4.79 million and Scott, who spent more than $70 million on his 2010 campaign, has yet to actually open his own campaign account for 2014 although he has announced he's running. The campaign committee money gives Scott an early edge over any Democratic challenger.

As for the contributions posted last week by "Let's Get to Work," $127,750 came from health-care interests and $308,798 from individuals and groups tied to real estate, development, banking, consulting and legal interests.

U.S. Sugar, one of the major agricultural businesses in the Everglades Agricultural Area, planted $100,000 into the account. The U.S. Sugar contribution came in the wake of Scott's May 28 signing of a bill (HB 7065) that alters the Everglades Forever Act by designating $32 million a year for the River of Grass' upkeep. U.S. Sugar supported the compromise bill.

The Florida Realtors PAC dropped $75,000 into the fund, FCCI Services of Sarasota was good for $50,000 and St. Petersburg designer Ronald Wanek, Arcadia consultants KT Brightwaters LLC, the Campaign Account of Carlton Fields, Palm Beach developer Howard Leach and St. Petersburg developer Mel Sembler each gave $25,000. Scott recently gave a "Great Floridian" award to Sembler's wife Betty.

-- Steve Bousquet