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Monday, Jan 21, 2019
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Scott gets ready for a low-key inauguration

— Fresh off his statewide “jobs jamboree” victory tour, Gov. Rick Scott is getting ready to be sworn in for a second term.

The lead-up to his second inauguration differs from his first in taking a more working-class approach.

In 2011, he raised $3 million for a dozen events, including a $95-a-plate black-tie gala.

But the “jobs jamboree” was a series of downhome barbecues held in Jacksonville, Lake Mary, Miami, Scott’s hometown of Naples, Pensacola and Tampa.

Scott defeated former Gov. Charlie Crist, who ran as a Democrat, in the Nov. 4 general election. The 62-year-old Scott will be inaugurated Jan. 6.

“Our focus now is how do we become the No. 1 place to get a job,” Scott told the crowd at the Tampa event.

“When we become the global leader for job creation, we’ll have the money to make sure we have the best education system,” he added. “We’ll continue to have the crime rate low.”

“It’s all about trying to adjust the image,” said Darryl Paulson, a Republican and professor emeritus of government at the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg.

Scott, a millionaire executive of a chain of for-profit hospitals, first ran as a tea party favorite.

After his 2010 election, “he could hardly lay claim to being a ‘man of the people’ and came across as disconnected from many of the basic concerns of average Floridians,” Paulson said.

That was then — this is now.

Scott has only to point at his November win to say that voters liked his focus on jobs, Paulson said.

“He made promises about job creation and he delivered,” he said. The barbecues “were something that the rank and file would feel much more comfortable attending than black-tie dinners.”

An official swearing-in ceremony will be held at 11:20 a.m. on the steps of the historic Capitol in Tallahassee.

Scott also will attend an inaugural prayer breakfast earlier that day and a small evening reception at the Governor’s Mansion, according to his office.

His wife, Ann, will attend a Tallahassee event honoring military service members and their families.

The Republican Party of Florida has been regularly disclosing the list of donors who helped pay for the barbecues, including U.S. Sugar Corp. and insurer FCCI Services, each putting up $25,000.

Other gifts include $25,000 from the Florida Harbor Pilots Association and $10,000 from the Florida Association of Broadcasters.

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