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Campaign shakeup: Rick Scott's fundraising chief quits amid disagreements


In a campaign shakeup, Gov. Rick Scott’s top fundraiser — billionaire healthcare CEO Mike Fernandez — abruptly quit his post late Thursday after weeks of behind-the-scenes disagreements.

Fernandez said he was quitting to spend more time with his family and businesses. And he praised Scott's campaign in a letter to the campaign's leadership team.

"Together, we have helped the Governor raise more than $35 million. This has been an unprecedented effort, which is only matched by our shared commitment to reelect our Governor this November," Fernandez's letter said.

"I am proud of the team the Governor has put together, and I am confident that we are on course for victory," he wrote in the letter, released late Friday by Scott's campaign.

Despite the praise, Fernandez has been unhappy for weeks with the struggling campaign's direction and the attitude of some of its workers.

Fernandez began expressing his frustrations at least a month ago when he sent an email to top Scott allies and complained about two campaign aides who had joked around in a cartoon-style Mexican accent en route to a Mexican restaurant in Fernandez’s home town of Coral Gables.

Fernandez, who is Cuban, wouldn’t comment about the email.

Fernandez, though, said his real issues concerned the campaign’s direction and not the governor. But he acknowledged his own faults, noting he never ran a campaign.

 “My job is to make an organization work better,” Fernandez told The Miami Herald. "I’ve never found an organization or a relationship that cannot be improved upon.”

 “To be fair to those people who I have criticized, I probably have overstepped my — or maybe their —comfort zone. Because I’m used to being the CEO,” he said. “Here I’m not the CEO. I’m a senior vice president at the most.”

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