Despite pressure to back a candidate in the Republican primary, especially with a home state senator in the race, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he would not endorse a particular contender until after Florida voters cast their ballots.
"The political class opposed me when I first ran for office, they did not want a businessman outsider, but the voters had other ideas," Scott said in a Facebook post Thursday. "I trust the voters, so I will not try to tell the Republican voters in Florida how to vote by endorsing a candidate before our primary on March 15. I believed in the voters when I first ran for office, and I still believe in them today."
Though he has said before that he would not make an official pick to sway Florida voters, Scott seemed partial to GOP front-runner Donald Trump in an editorial he wrote earlier this year.
"[T]here is no doubt that Donald is a man who speaks and tweets his mind freely," the Florida governor wrote in USA Today. "But I don't think his ability to give the most interesting interviews or speeches is the only thing that has him leading in the polls. I think he is capturing the frustration of many Americans after seven years of President Obama's very intentional government takeover of the U.S. economy."
As a businessman and venture capitalist who was elected to Florida's highest office without any previous public service experience, Scott outlined his similarities to Trump. In that January editorial, he said "the same thing happened in 2010 when I entered the Florida gubernatorial race against the establishment-endorsed sitting Republican attorney general."
Florida Sen. Rubio, for his part, is counting on a victory in his home state, where delegates are awarded on a winner-take-all basis. A Florida win for Trump would deal a huge blow to Rubio, who has won just one state in the Republican primary so far.
But recent polls of the state show Trump leading over the Florida senator by wide margins.