Florida first lady more active in Scott re-election bid

Florida first lady Ann Scott holds newborn Colbie Kraft while talking with Colbie’s mom, Katie, at Tampa General Hospital on Tuesday. Ann Scott is taking a more active role in husband Rick Scott’s re-election campaign than she did when he first ran for governor in 2010. chris urso/Tampa Tribune

Florida first lady Ann Scott holds newborn Colbie Kraft while talking with Colbie’s mom, Katie, at Tampa General Hospital on Tuesday. Ann Scott is taking a more active role in husband Rick Scott’s re-election campaign than she did when he first ran for governor in 2010. chris urso/Tampa Tribune

William March, (@WMarchTBO)

­­— In 2010, Florida first lady Ann Scott was thrown into the deep end of politics and public exposure as the wife of Rick Scott, the candidate and then the governor.

For a Texas girl from a working-class family who had lived mostly a private life as a homemaker and mother, it was a tough adjustment.

Suddenly, with no experience in politics, she was first lady of the nation’s fourth-largest state, the wife of a governor who seemed always at the center of controversy.

And yet, she said in an interview this week, “I was terrified of public speaking from the time I was in the sixth grade. I had to work very hard to overcome that.”

But this year, with her husband in a re-election battle perhaps as tough as his 2010 election campaign, Ann Scott has found a comfort zone in the political spotlight.

Unlike 2010, she’s making public appearances on her own, sometimes as the candidate’s wife and sometimes as first lady. She reaches out to constituencies he has challenges with, including women and mothers.

The Scott re-election team has raised her profile, scheduling her heavily with campaign events and official governor’s office events designed to get news coverage and push the campaign’s message. Those include at least three appearances in the Tampa area last week.

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