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Forty sheriffs, five of them Democrats, endorse Scott

Gov. Rick Scott's campaign announced endorsements Tuesday from 40 sheriffs, including four from Tampa Bay.

The list included five Democratic sheriffs: Susan Benton of Highlands, Jeff Hardy of Putnam, Gordon Smith of Bradford, Steve Whidden of Hendry and Stuart Whiddon of Glades.

Those are small, conservative counties where sheriffs have a lot of clout. Voter turnout percentages in off-year elections typically are higher in small counties. (Sheriffs are not up for election this year. They run for four-year terms on the same cycle as presidential elections).

Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger endorsed Scott. Remember him? Eslinger was one of the four names on Scott's supposed short list of possible picks for lieutenant governor last fall, before he chose former Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera.

"Sheriffs for Scott" also includes Hillsborough's David Gee, Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas, Chris Nocco of Pasco and Al Nienhuis of Hernando. Nocco was appointed by Scott in 2011. Nienhuis was appointed by former Gov. Charlie Crist in 2010.

In a statement released by Scott's campaign, Gualtieri said: "We need a strong and decisive governor to make the hard decisions that ensure further crime reductions in a cost efficient manner, and Rick Scott is the only candidate who will do that."



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ed jenkins

While the citizens respect their sheriffs and their opinions they do not believe that it is appropriate for employees to be endorsing their potential bosses as this could result in political favors being required at some point.

It is a sign of how the voters have been won over by this scott since even democrat sherrifs similar to this democrat primary voter have been won over.

An education advocate

The voters have not been won over by Rick Scott, I am sure these Sheriffs have been promised help with funding for their departments as well as help for their campaigns,

Ed we know you don't like Charlie but Rick Scott is much worse and has changed his positions on key issues now that he is facing election election. Look at how he devastated public school funding when he first got elected and now is pushing for increased funding, so he can claim he is an education advocate.

I am democrat and I will support Charlie, I can't take four more years of Rick Scott.

Highly paid Republican consultant

Don't worry ed you are much more articulate then an education advocate.

Can't take anymore

Resultant, don't worry too much about Old Ed. I'm pretty sure that he is in fact a white, heavy set, 13 year old kid with braces on his teeth, thick glasses, zits and few if any friends. He is so lonely he does his daily impersonation of a loopy and grumpy old man who fancies himself The Herald's version of Stephan Colbert.


Who cares what these Sheriffs think? I guess they admire powerful, smart criminals. Any old Joe that pleads the 5th would be automatically guilty to these guys, but they will give Skeletor Scott a pass. Just shows how corrupt Republicans are, and the Dumbocrats who endorsed him probably live in Republican dominated counties.


Yeah, I'm not taking much stock in Sherrif Gualtieri's statement that 'only' Rick Scott can be "strong and decisive" on crime issues. Of course he's going to say that. Scott got him his job.


Yes, he retained it post-2012. But I bet folks in Pinellas County can connect the dots between Gualtieri's election campaign and heavy Republican funding (which may include Scott but how can we ever really know, thank you SCOTUS Citizens United)

Gualtieri's statement sounds to me like the kind of thing someone who's bought and paid for would say.


Having recently relocated to Lee County from democratic rich Miami-Dade County, I am having the hardest time wrapping my brain around the fact that anyone in their sane mind would think that Rick Scott is good for Florida. Those dumbocrats that endorsed him must be what I call....."in the closet republicans", pretending to be democrats.

Robert Rega

As a retired law enforcement officer, I know where I was employed, it was illegal for any law enforcement officer to openly support any political candidate. The logic behind this was to avoid having law enforcement officers influence the voter by using their legal authority to coax their vote. In this state if a Sheriff has to be replaced, the governor does the replacement. This is another reason endorsements by law enforcement officials should be considered unethical and stopped. But then again, why should ethics issues influence Rick Scott?


So amusing to see people who don't like an ethical governor refer to Chain-Gang Charlie as an ethical guy. He has all of the ethical grounding of a weathervane.

Gov. Scott has worked himself hard the past four years to reverse the job losses we endured from the Crist administration. Democrats are telling us this is bad. Washington DC tells us otherwise. Our jobs-recovery performance is third in the nation, behind only Maine and North Dakota.

Then again, what would rational people think of a Democrat opinion? Scott isn't much on personality, but he delivers the goods. Let Crist go to Cuba. He'll probably come back a Communist. (That party label fits him pretty well.)

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