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Coy Speaker Weatherford doesn’t rule out run for guv

by Dara Kam | February 28th, 2013

House Speaker Will Weatherford did not rule out a possible run against Gov. Rick Scott in a primary next year but laughed when asked about the rumors of a primary against the incumbent.

Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, fueled the rumors when he criticized Scott’s announcement last week that he supports the expansion of Medicaid, part of the federal health care law pushed by President Obama. Conservative Republicans have lined up against the expansion, saying they fear it will ultimately cost the state much more than the 10 percent the federal government promises to pay after picking up 100 percent of the tab for three years.

“I think people who are saying those things must not know me very well. I’m busy enough trying to be the speaker of the House. And I think the governor’s doing a good job. The state of Florida is moving in a positive direction. We’re working closely with him to solve the problems of the state of Florida. I’m not thinking about any of that stuff right now. I’m thinking about the agenda we have for the next 60 days and trying to pass some significant policy out of the Florida House,” Weatherford told reporters in the Capitol today after announcing a new House smartphone app.

But Weatherford did not commit to not running against Scott when pressed about ruling it out.

“I just said I don’t have any plans to do anything like that. I think it’s funny that I’m being asked it. The governor’s a friend. I think he’s doing a good job. We’re working very closely with him. Like I said, we agree on a whole lot more than we disagree on. The Medicaid expansion is a very small example of something we haven’t been on the same page on. But I think we’re moving forward. I think there’s some exciting times for the Florida House,” he said.

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