TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott was conspicuous by his absence at the last Republican convention in Tampa four years ago, but he had a good excuse: A tropical storm was bearing down on Florida.
Scott will play a prominent role in next week’s convention in Cleveland but finds himself at the center of a political storm that poses risks to his final two years in office and a possible run for U.S. Senate in 2018.
For better or worse, the governor of America’s biggest presidential battleground is also his state’s leading supporter of Donald Trump, the most divisive presidential candidate in decades.
Scott is all-in with the bombastic Trump, even as other leading Republicans boycott the convention or keep a distance from a candidate who has torn his party apart while offending one demographic group after another.
Scott will take the stage Thursday to deliver a prime-time convention speech for Trump, and then goes to work in what polls suggest is an uphill climb to deliver Florida to a candidate reviled by Hispanics in particular, the fastest-growing part of Florida’s electorate.