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After Landslide Primary Victory, Florida Governor Endorses Donald Trump

Just a day after Florida Senator Marco Rubio exited the race, Governor Rick Scott said it's time to "accept and respect the will of the voters and coalesce behind Donald Trump."
Photo by Brian Blanco/EPA

The dust had barely settled on Senator Marco Rubio's failed presidential campaign before the governor of his own state of Florida, Rick Scott, endorsed Donald Trump for president Wednesday.

"With his victories yesterday, I believe it is now time for Republicans to accept and respect the will of the voters and coalesce behind Donald Trump," Governor Rick Scott wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday morning. "This has been a hard fought primary, with an outstanding roster of excellent candidates, including two of Florida's favorite sons [Rubio and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush], and several Republican Governors who are close friends of mine."


Scott's endorsement comes barely 12 hours after Rubio suspended his presidential campaign, following a 20 point whopping defeat to Trump in Florida.

"It is not God's plan that I be president in 2016 or maybe ever," an emotional Rubio told supporters Tuesday night in suspending his campaign.

Marco Rubio Ends Presidential Campaign After Losing His Home State

There had been rumors that Scott might endorse Trump before Florida's primary, the biggest prize of the Republican race thus far, but he repeatedly said he was going to wait until the final ballots had been counted before he threw his support into the ring.

If Scott was waiting to see whether Rubio's faltering campaign could make a comeback, Tuesday's results made it abundantly clear the answer was no. Only one county, Rubio's own Miami-Dade, voted for Rubio over Trump yesterday.

Not that it would make Rubio feel much better, but Scott's endorsement sounded like more like an acceptance of fate than an effusive love letter to Trump. Central to Scott's statement was an call on Republicans to stop "tearing each other apart" so they can win the general election against the Democratic nominee.

"It's time for an end to the Republican on Republican violence," Scott said. "It's time for us to begin coming together, we've had a vigorous primary, now let's get serious about winning in November."

Donald Trump Earns Huge Victories in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina


Scott is the latest Republican governor to back Trump in recent weeks. Trump has also received the endorsements of New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Maine Governor Paul LePage. Earlier this year, Trump had virtually no support from sitting Republican leaders, but that is beginning change as it has become increasingly clear that he is most likely going to be the party's nominee.

Most of Florida's elected officials remained neutral toward Rubio leading up to the primary. But some other leaders threw their support behind Trump, including Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi, who endorsed Rubio's rival the day before the primary.

Bush, who dropped out of the Republican primary race last month, has so far declined to endorse any candidate. The former Florida governor met with Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Rubio last week, in an apparent effort to help them combat Trump. But Bush's failure to get behind Rubio's campaign was almost as much of a slight to the senator as backing one of his opponents. Rubio was his former protége and Bush's brief successor as the Republican establishment's standard-bearer.

Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter: @Obecker928

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