Gov.-elect Scott resurrects inaugural ballby Dara Kam | November 17th, 2010
Gov.-elect Rick Scott will revive the inaugural ball, a fete abandoned by Gov. Charlie Crist four years ago, as part of his two-day celebration of the Republican’s election as the state’s 45th governor.
Tickets for the event will cost $95, according to members of Scott’s inaugural team. Crist originally planned a ball after his 2006 election, but canceled the event after an outcry over the so-called “people’s governor” collecting contributions for the fancy-dress event during a time of economic crisis for the state.
Scott, who spent at least $73 million of his own vast fortune to finance his campaign for governor, is also hosting a variety of free events, including a youth concert, an event for military families and an event geared toward honoring the historic election of the state’s first black lieutenant governor, Jennifer Carroll, and first female attorney general, Pam Bondi.
“The people of Florida have plenty to celebrate with the inauguration of our state’s next governor, including the implementation of an aggressive jobs plan and a new focus on revitalizing the state’s economy. Floridians are invited to participate in the Inaugural festivities, many free and open to the public, as Rick Scott prepares to forge a new path towards prosperity for all Floridians. We look forward to announcing event details in the coming weeks,” Scott’s inaugural committee spokeswoman Erin Isaac said in an e-mail.
Scott tapped one of Crist’s closest ‘s allies, lobbying powerhouse Brian Ballard, to raise money for the two-day party. Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Francis Rooney and his wife Kathleen are the inauguration co-chairs. Spencer Geissenger, Scott’s campaign advance man whose credentials include stints at the White House under both Presidents Bush.
Scott, who will release details of the inaugural festivities within a few days, is mimicking a few of the popular events Crist hosted four years ago. He’ll open the governor’s mansion to the public on Jan. 4 after his swearing in and inaugural parade.
One inaugural event unlikely to be reinstated, to the chagrin of some Tallahasseans, is the infamous “spud gun” incident. The late Gov. Lawton Chiles, clad in a raccoon skin coat, shot off the homemade device during his inaugural street carnival in 1995. It hit a nearby car.