It’s official – Rick Scott Florida’s 45th governorby Dara Kam | January 4th, 2011
Accompanied by his wife and daughter, Rick Scott was sworn in as the state’s 45th governor under gray skies on the steps of the Old Capitol shortly before noon.
Scott was sworn in at 11:56 a.m. by Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady followed by a 19-gun salute and a flyover by F-15s from the 125th Fighter Wing of the National Guard.
Country music star Lee Greenwood highlighted the day’s patriotic theme with his performance of “God Bless the USA” and “Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Flies.”
Former Govs. Jeb Bush, Claude Kirk and Bob Martinez – all Republicans – joined Scott and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll for the swearing-in ceremonies. Former Democratic Govs. Bob Graham, Buddy MacKay and Reubin Askew did not attend.
Outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist, an independent, sat in the front row next to Scott’s mother Esther, and handed the seal of the state to Scott. Carole Crist was not present.
Some of the state’s most prominent lobbyists – big donors to Scott’s inaugural campaign – scored the best seats in the house after coughing up nearly $4 million for the week-long festivities culminating with a black-tie gala tonight. Among them: Brian Ballard, Mike Hightower, Billy Rubin, Bob Coker and Barney Bishop.
Leading up to Scott’s swearing-in, the Florida National Guard Army band played a medley of military tunes including the confederate anthem “Dixie,” considered by some to be offensive and banned from many school activities in Southern states.