Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, once the front-runner to win the GOP gubernatorial primary race, refused to endorse primary winner Rick Scott on Wednesday.
Scott, a former healthcare executive, surprisingly took 47 percent of the vote to McCollum's 43 percent. A third candidate, Mike McAllister, won 10 percent.
The campaign between Scott and McCollum often included harsh attacks from both candidates. Scott bashed McCollum as a "career politician" while painting himself as a "conservative outsider." McCollum took shots at Scott's past career, accusing him of being linked to Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
The Palm Beach Post reported that McCollum’s campaign spokesman said he would endorse other GOP candidates around the state, but failed to include Scott’s name when asked.
"The attorney general is looking forward to being on the campaign trail for campaigns for our Republican slate, including Marco Rubio, Jeff Atwater, Adam Putnam and our new attorney general nominee and Dean Cannon and Mike Haridopolos and our entire legislative slate,” McCollum campaign spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said Wednesday.
When asked if McCollum would endorse Scott, Campbell said: "They have not yet spoken."
When asked again, Campbell repeated her earlier remarks: “I think (Attorney) General McCollum will make comments this week, where he believes the Republican Party needs to focus on in November. I think you could take from that that he’ll make comments today or Thursday he will focus on electing Republican candidates including Marco Rubio and Mike Haridopolos and Jeff Atwater and the entire Republican legislative slate.”
The move is a sign that the animosity between McCollum and Scott has yet to subside.
The Republican Governors Association put out a tepid statement of
support for Scott Tuesday night.
"Intraparty struggles are often difficult to watch, and the contest in Florida has been a good example of that. That said, the primary is over, Rick Scott is the nominee, the general election has begun, and our party now looks forward," spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.