UPDATE: Gov. Rick Scott cancelled the appearance this morning to return to Tallahassee after declaring a state of emergency for 26 Florida Panhandle and north Florida counties that have been hard-hit by torrential rain.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who's head of the national Republican Party effort to elect Republican governors, will make a campaign appearance for Florida Gov. Rick Scott in the Tampa area Wednesday.
He'll be joined by Scott, making an official governor's office visit.
They'll appear at the Largo facilities of ConMed Linvatec, a New York-based company that manufactures medical equipment including orthopedic surgical gear.
According to a news release Tuesday afternoon from the Republican Governor's Association, the national GOP's campaign arm for governors, Christie will “celebrate Gov. Rick Scott's work to eliminate the tax on manufactures in Florida.”
He'll then appear at a fundraising lunch in Lakeland.
A release from Scott's office a few minutes later announced his appearance with Christie in Largo.
It's the second time Christie has appeared in Florida for Scott since the scandal broke open in Christie's home state about the involvement of his close aides in the “Bridgegate” scandal involving the closing of approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge. The resulting monster traffic jam allegedly was intended to punish a Democratic mayor who had refused to endorse Christie for re-election.
Scott proposed, and the state Legislature has approved, eliminating the sales tax on manufacturing equipment in an attempt to stimulate manufacturing jobs in the state.
The move, which the Legislature put into effect for only three years, after which it will have to be renewed, will eliminate about $100 million a year in state revenue. Scott called it “a huge victory for families across Florida.”
Word of Christie's previous visit, in January, was released several days in advance. That allowed Democrats time to respond -- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, who's also national Democratic Party chairman, trailed Christie through stops in Orlando and South Florida.
The Largo and Lakeland stops, by comparison, weren't announced until late Tuesday afternoon.
A Crist spokesman said the campaign has no plans to be involved. “I don't want to endure the traffic to get there. Pun intended,” said spokesman Kevin Cate.
“Floridians should be outraged that instead of working with the Legislature in the last week of session on issues that matter to middle class, Rick Scott is raising his $100 million and causing traffic jams in Largo,” Cate said.
State Democratic Party spokesman Josh Karp said the party will have a presence at the event “to make the point that Rick Scott will take money from anyone” for his campaign, but didn't provide details.