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Ahead of expected Senate run, Gov. Scott unveils new super PAC

WASHINGTON — Gov. Rick Scott will chair a national Super PAC aiming to “change and rebrand the way the Republican Party approaches the challenges of the future.”

Hitching itself to President Donald Trump, New Republican will “get rid of all our tired old political jargon and cliches,” Scott said in a release that echoed a presentation he gave in Washington Wednesday night.

The PAC was founded by Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, and he will serve as senior advisor. Melissa Stone will serve as the executive director; Taylor Teepell, finance director. 

Scott played up his connection to Trump. “Donald Trump’s election was a complete shock to the system in Washington,” said Scott, who is readying to run for U.S. Senate against Bill Nelson.

“This is the perfect opportunity to do things differently. The president is a friend of mine. I’ve known him for about 20 years. I am committed to helping him as he fights against the political machine and attempts to force real change upon a political system and a city that hates change.”

A professed outsider, Scott announced the PAC in a most insider way: during an invite-only dinner with Beltway reporters.

According to the PAC website, New Republican will focus on three specific areas:

When a politician says deregulation, people’s eyes glaze over. It’s not sexy; no one really wins elections on it.  But the simple truth is this – excessive regulations are the number one thing that keeps our private-sector economy from working. In Florida we have cut taxes many times, and that has been important, but de-regulation is what has really made our economy take off. We will aggressively back the President’s push to take the leg irons off of this economy and re-invent government.

We will appeal to and target younger voters.   Let me be clear: We are not going backwards. This is not a nostalgic effort to go back to Ronald Reagan.  Instead, we are going to do for our party in our time what Ronald Reagan did for his party in his time:  Attract young voters, the voters of the future.  We are going to bring generational change to the Republican Party.  This is crucial.  We have a great message for younger voters.  Our focus on open systems fits the experience of younger voters, and our focus on bottom up organic solutions as opposed to top down antiquated government systems is a perfect fit for younger voters.

We will win Hispanic voters. In both of my campaigns for Governor, I refused to accept the idea that Republicans cannot win the hearts and minds of Hispanic voters.  It’s an absurd notion.  In my re-election I received about half of the Hispanic votes – and this was two years after Romney had only gotten about ¼.  In my experience, Latinos want to pursue the American Dream with a gusto that puts a lot of other folks to shame.  They should absolutely be Republicans. I will summarize it this way: The idea of the emerging Democratic majority is a fraud.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

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