Bay area wins big in Scott campaign push

Brandon, Florida -- The big winner in Governor Rick Scott's latest campaign rollout is right here in the Tampa Bay area.

The governor was at the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, talking about the transportation part of his re-election campaign.

At campaign events, you expect to hear a lot of promises. But Scott talked mostly about transportation funding already approved for this coming year.

He says what has already been done is a picture of what's ahead if he's re-elected. And taking up a lot of room in that picture is money for the biggest-ever expansion of Tampa International Airport.

The airport's staff told me the $194 million that Scott lined up for the TIA Master Plan expansion will pay for about a quarter of the cost to add a new people mover, rental car center, and expand the arrivals area.

"It really is important for our entire region," Tampa International Airport spokeswoman Janet Zink said. "This project will help continue to move this region forward. We're already one of the fastest-growing economies in the country. That's just going to continue."

Other focuses in Scott's "Let's Keep Florida Moving" campaign push: more than $1 billion for seaports, $25 billion for road projects, and investments in the space industry.

"Because we've turned the economy around, we've had two years in a row that we have record funding for transportation," Scott said.

I reached out to Charlie Crist's campaign for their take. They passed along a statement from the Florida Democratic Party.

Among other things, the statement said Scott's decision to kill the high-speed rail line that would have connected Tampa and Orlando -- and created 20,000 jobs -- is a clear enough example that Gov. Scott does not have the right vision for Florida's transportation future.


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