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Scott's campaign quickly shuts down 'private gator hunt' fundraiser

Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign on Tuesday cancelled a planned $25,000-a-person fund-raiser that featured a private alligator hunt. The campaign has not yet given a reason for the decision, but the event -- and its quick demise -- became a social media sensation and prompted media inquiries. The unusual event, first reported by SaintPetersBlog, was to have taken place in New Smyrna Beach on Oct. 18.

On Twitter Tuesday, former Republican Sen. Paula Dockery of Lakeland questioned how Scott's campaign could put on such an event, with limits on the number of alligator permits in the state. "This raises a few questions. Usually licenses/permits done by lottery. How do they get enough for all donors?" Dockery tweeted.

Scott, at an "It's Your Money" tax-cut event on Tuesday afternoon in downtown Fort Lauderdale, brushed off a question about the event and told a reporter to contact the Republican Party of Florida, even though the invitations made clear that Scott's campaign was handling reservations.

A few hours later, Tallahassee lawyer John French, who runs Scott's campaign organization, Let's Get to Work, said the event was off.

"As you know, I serve as the chairman of Let's Get to Work. This event has been canceled," French said in an email Tuesday night.

-- Steve Bousquet