Florida Gov. Rick Scott began his second term Tuesday with the same promise he made when he took office four years ago — to keep government small, lower taxes and create jobs by making the state more business-friendly.
Scott was sworn in outside Florida’s Old Capitol two months after beating Republican-turned-Democrat former Gov. Charlie Crist with less than half the votes cast. In the prepared version of his speech, he took credit for Florida’s recovery from the Great Recession and said he would continue to make the state a place that attracts businesses and new residents.
“You have heard me constantly talk about jobs since I ran in 2010. I want to promise you I will never stop. I will be working to make Florida number one in job opportunities and growth right up to the last day I serve as your governor,” Scott said.
Scott said he plans to travel to states like California, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania to encourage people to move to Florida.
“We want you to keep more of the money you make because we understand it’s your money. We want your businesses to grow and succeed. We want to compete globally and win,” Scott said.
Scott was first elected during a Republican wave in 2010 with the strong support of the tea party movement. He reached out to all Floridians as he began his second term.
“There are many things that we can come together on, and we should not let partisan politics, or any politics for that matter, get in our way,” Scott said.
Coincidentally, across the street from Scott’s inauguration gay couples were getting married at the Leon County courthouse on the first day same-sex marriage was legal across Florida. Scott has opposed same-sex marriage, a fact that wasn’t lost on several dozen couples who were married at the courthouse Tuesday.
“It just shows the universe meant for this to happen,” said Ayana Powell after she married Rochelle Cornwall. “It’s karma.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attended the inauguration. Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam were also sworn in for their second terms.