Republican lawmakers are rallying behind Florida Gov.
Rick Scott and the newly formed Republican Governors Association to help him re-election in 2018, with one saying they are looking forward to the new governors’ meetings and other events.
Jeb Bush of Florida on Friday said he is looking forward “to being a part of this new chapter of American history” and said the new GOP Governors Association has been an “extraordinary” resource for Republicans seeking their party’s future.
The group’s executive director, Scott, said he will “be meeting with governors across the country” to discuss issues such as energy, climate change and health care and said he hopes to be a leader for the new era.
“I’m going to be talking to governors across Florida, to Florida’s Republican Party, and I’m going into some of these governors’ offices and trying to help them elect their own governors,” he said.
Scott and the new Republicans are looking to unseat Democrats in the Nov. 4 gubernatorial election, which would set up a special election to replace outgoing Gov.
Charlie Crist, who is seeking a fourth term.
Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who has been critical of Trump, has already declared his candidacy for governor, but he has not announced his candidacy publicly.
The Florida Republican Party is holding a news conference Friday at which Rubio will discuss his views on Trump and other candidates.
The Florida GOP said that the new group, which has been organized by Republican Gov.
Scott and former Gov.
Marco Ruiz of California, is looking to build relationships with governors in Florida, New York and California.
“Our goal is to build a stronger, more cohesive, more effective Republican Party in Florida and across the United States,” the group said in a statement.
“We’ve been in communication with them about how they can best help our candidates and their campaigns,” said Jason Siegel, an associate director of the Florida Republican Governors’ Association.
Scott said the Florida GOP is looking for candidates who share his “vision for a stronger and more prosperous Florida.”
He added that the Florida Governors Association “is a new organization that we have created in response to the changing landscape of the Republican Party and our state, and our goal is not only to get our candidates elected, but to build new relationships that will allow us to be more effective in the future.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is leading an effort to unify Republican voters ahead of the election.
“The new governors are coming to Florida to rally for a Republican Governor and to work with all our elected officials to restore the Republican brand,” Gaetz said in an emailed statement.
Republican Rep. David Jolly of Florida also tweeted Friday that the GOP Governors’ association is working to unite Florida Republicans ahead of an election.
The announcement came after Scott spoke to about 100 conservative activists at the American Conservative Union, in Washington.
He said he had spoken to Florida Republican lawmakers about the group and they are excited about working together.
“If you want to build the Republican party, and you want the country to be strong, and if you want us to elect Republican governors, we’re going to have to unite around the president,” Scott said.
Republican state Sen. Dan Gelber of Florida announced Friday that he will join the new Florida Republican governor’s association, which he called an “excellent resource” and an “unrivaled resource” in his home state.
Gelber said he has known Scott for a long time and has supported him politically.
“In Florida, we’ve seen the GOP governor for more than 40 years.
It is an exceptional state.
It’s a strong state,” Gelber said.
“I’ve had the pleasure of being part of the governing party and working in Florida.”
Scott has been one of the most outspoken opponents of President Donald Trump, calling him a “phony” and a “fraud” during the 2016 presidential campaign.
He has not endorsed a candidate in the 2020 presidential election.
Scott, who also faces a special primary election to fill a vacancy left by Crist’s resignation, has a strong track record of success in his state, with the state ranking as the fifth most Republican state in terms of population.
In 2010, the Republican governor won a second term with a 51 percent to 43 percent margin over Democrat Charlie Crist.
The new group says it is seeking candidates for the governors’ office who share the governor’s views on issues such “fiscal responsibility” and the importance of protecting the environment.
It also wants candidates to focus on issues that are “embracing a diverse, diverse, inclusive, and open America,” the statement said.
Florida is the only state where there are no Republican governors.