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July 28, 2010

TALLAHASSEE – Associated Industries of Florida Political Action Committee (AIFPAC) today announced its endorsement of both Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) and Rick Scott (R) for Governor.

“AIF endorsements are always based on the simple premise that the candidates endorsed are the ones whose philosophy, like ours, is for a strong and vibrant free-enterprise system. It has little to do with politics or a particular candidate’s likelihood of winning. Ultimately, the board chose to endorse both candidates because we believe that either one would be generally supportive of our positions. This has happened in past legislative races and now has happened again in this race for the GOP nomination for Governor. Thus, AIF is sending a message to our members and to the business community-at-large that either of these two men would be good Governors for the State of Florida,” said Barney Bishop III, President and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida (AIF).

AIFPAC conducts a detailed political and issues analysis prior to making decisions on endorsements of candidates. Candidates for Governor and Cabinet positions must also complete a questionnaire in order to be considered for AIFPAC endorsement. A statewide candidate does not receive an AIFPAC endorsement without an overwhelming show of support from its members.

“General McCollum has consistently been a strong voice for conservative principles and a solid vote on the Cabinet. His leadership on the lawsuit challenging the unconstitutional health care law, as well as on tort reform issues, water issues, among many others demonstrates to us that he has the right qualities to be Governor,” added Bishop.

“I thank Associated Industries of Florida and their member businesses for their support of my campaign and my agenda for the future of Florida,” said Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. “With double-digit unemployment and a struggling economy, our state’s chief priority must be putting residents back to work and creating a business-friendly climate that will allow private enterprise to flourish. As Florida’s next Governor, I look forward to working with Associated Industries of Florida to implement my bold job creation and economic agenda for the Sunshine State.”

“While he is a newcomer to politics, Rick Scott’s conservative philosophy is one that also resonates with our members. He is a successful businessman who understands the need to have an accountable, balanced state budget, is committed to maintaining choice and competition in the health care system, favors lower taxes and limiting regulations that prevent businesses from creating jobs and has said he will work to lower businesses’ workers’ comp costs,” said Bishop.

“I am pleased to have the endorsement of Associated Industries of Florida. Their members are the men and women who create the jobs that drive Florida’s economic growth. As a successful businessman who has started and run small businesses and large corporations, I have a proven track record of creating private-sector jobs. Floridians want action and I look forward to implementing my comprehensive, seven-step plan to create 700,000 Florida jobs that puts Floridians back to work, grows our economy and holds government accountable to taxpayers,” said Rick Scott.

Scott previously served on AIF’s board of directors.

Other AIFPAC statewide endorsements for this election cycle include Pam Bondi in the Republican primary for Attorney General, Congressman Adam Putnam (R) for Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Senate President Jeff Atwater (R) for Chief Financial Officer.