Rick Scott, or Richard Lynn Scott, is the incumbent Governor of Florida, having assumed the office on January 4, 2011 as the successor of Charlie Crist. A Republican by political ideology, Scott represents the Republican Party of Florida. He is also a law graduate from Southern Methodist University.
Early Life and Education
Rick Scott was born on December 1, 1952 to a family of 7 in Bloomington, Illinois. Amid financial struggles in the family, Scott’s father and mother divorced while he was just 2 years old. Hence, Scott went on to live with his stepfather, Orba Scott, and took up his surname. Raised in North Kansas City, Missouri, Rick joined North Kansas City High School for early education.
Graduating from high school and one year of community college, Rick Scott joined US Navy and served as a military man from 1971 to 1974. On returning from the military service, Scott went to the University of Missouri for an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. Later, he joined Southern Methodist University for a law degree.
Rick Scott is married to Ann Scott with two children. Both Rick and Ann were around 20 while they married on April 20, 1972.
Rick Scott’s professional career in health sector started when he, along with other partners, made a bid of $5 billion to acquire Hospital Corporation of America. As the offer was declined, Scott invested money to develop a new company, Columbia Hospital Corporation. By 1989, the corporation had expanded to offer accommodation for 833 bed-patients. Also, by 1992, Columbia Health Corporation had acquired Galen Healthcare stocks worth over $3 billion.
The Columbia Hospital Corporation saw a downfall starting in 1997. Being accused of striking illegal deals, presenting false data, fraudulent medical billing and exaggerating diagnosis, Columbia/HCA remained under FBI, IRS and Department of Health and Human Services investigation. Finally, as a settlement in 2002, the company lost around $2 billion – it paid $631 million to the government, $17.5 million to medical agencies and the remaining amount to various other expenses.
Departing from the Columbia Hospital Corporation, Rick Scott started his career as a venture capitalist by establishing Naples-based Richard L. Scott Investments. He made large investments to various areas, including CyberGuard, Secure Computing and ThyssenKrupp. Eventually, Scott again entered the health care sector by investing in America’s Health Network. In 2001, he helped found Solantic, a Jacksonville-based hospital. Subsequently, in 2003, Scott joined Pharmaca Integrative Paharmacies with a venture capital of $5.5 million.
In 2010 gubernatorial election, Rick Scott announced his candidacy and ran for the Republican nomination for Governor of Florida. Among three top candidates, Scott stood at the top of the primary election results table followed by Bill McCollum and Mike McCalister. As a Republican nominee, Scott joined the general election against Democrat Alex Sink. He reached a narrow victory with 48.87% votes in favour – Sink received 47.72% votes.
In 2014 gubernatorial election, Rick Scott decided to seek for a second term and ran again from Republican nomination. This time, he was an absolute favourite, having secured 87.6% of the total votes cast. In Florida General Election, Scott faced Charlie Crist and his running mate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein. Like last election results, Scott gained a narrow victory by just about 150,000 votes.
As Governor of Florida, Rick Scott has helped Florida flourish as a holiday place for many Americans and people from other parts of the world. However, he is still sceptic about climate change and its extent – if he doesn’t comply to environmentalist’s call for saving the nature, Florida might not remain a naturally beautiful touristic centre. Moreover, Scott administration has made strong efforts to abolish gerrymandering in Florida elections.
- America’s 25 Most Influential People, June 1996, Time Magazine
- Silver award for the CEO of the Year, 1995, Financial World magazine
- Second Century Award for Excellence in Health Care, 1995, Columbia University School of Nursing
Donald Trump and Rick Scott
US President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Rick Scott resemble on some of their stands, given that they both represent the Republican party. On climate change, Scott is doubtful about its extent, but Trump once commented that he doesn’t believer in such a hoax. The two leaders seem to have experienced some bromance over the period of time after Trump got elected as President. President Trump has urged to go against Bill Nelson for Senate in 2018 elections. Likewise, Scott sees a friend for Florida in Trump. However, he didn’t express any interest in serving for Trump administration.