USA Today: Fortunes shine for GOP in Fla., Ariz.
By Kathy Kiely, USA TODAY Big campaign war chests helped veteran Sen. John McCain easily win his Republican primary in Arizona on Tuesday and newcomer Rick Scott upset a party stalwart in Florida’s GOP gubernatorial contest, on a night that also set up key three-way battles for the fall.
Scott used $39 million of his personal fortune to defeat state Attorney General Bill McCollum, backed by ex-governor Jeb Bush, for the GOP nomination for the state’s top job.
McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, spent more than $20 million in Arizona to defeat former congressman J.D. Hayworth and win a chance for a fifth term.
Taking an indirect shot at his one-time rival, President Obama, McCain predicted voters will put Republicans back in charge of Congress in November. “Americans can’t afford to continue on the course we’ve been on,” he told supporters.
INTERACTIVE: Track House, Senate and governor races FLORIDA SENATE: Can Meek win in November? POLITICS BLOG: More on Fla. gov. race
Money was not enough for businessman Jeff Greene, another millionaire newcomer who used his personal fortune trying to break into Florida politics. He lost the Democratic Senate primary to veteran congressman Kendrick Meek.
Scott and Meek now face complicated races this fall in which independent candidates could be deciding factors.
Meek will compete with Republican Marco Rubio, a “Tea Party” favorite, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who bolted the GOP to run as an independent. A Quinnipiac poll last week showed Crist leading the field and drawing more support than Meek from Democratic voters…….Read More
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