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Gov. Scott holds rally in Cape Coral

U.S. Senate candidate makes stop at Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library

September 4, 2018
Pine Island Eagle

Gov. Rick Scott, a November Republican candidate for U.S. Senator, held a rally at the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library late Tuesday afternoon to honor local veterans and share his thoughts on the upcoming election.

Special guest speakers included Florida native and North Fort Myers resident Gen. Jim Dozier, a 35-year Army veteran who earned a Silver Star and Purple Heart. He was a prisoner of war in Italy in 1981 for 42 days; Ed McSorley, a Marine who served in Vietnam and received a Purple Heart; and Capt. Wayne Smith, an Air Force veteran who served 5 years as a POW alongside the late John McCain in Vietnam. He has earned countless military honors and is currently a board member of the SWFL Veterans Alliance.

"We've got to give respect to the people who are willing to die for our freedom," Scott said to the tightly gathered group, including a number of veterans, inside the museum.

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Gov.?Rick Scott addresses the crowd at a rally Tuesday afternoon at the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library. The U.S. Senator candidate discussed the campaign and honored veterans.

Scott, a Navy veteran in his own right, has awarded more than 15,000 veterans with the Governor's Veterans Service Medal during his time as governor.

Along side his wife Ann, Scott told family stories about visiting military-themed museums and landmarks.

He spoke of his recent trip to Kuwait, his time in the Navy and how difficult it was, and still can be, to acclimate back into society after serving.

He touched on his work trying to help military families solve issues with jobs, educational opportunities and getting mental health support quicker.

"We have six, five-star veteran nursing homes in Florida," Scott said. "Go visit one of them. People tell you some unbelievable stories."

"I will do everything I can to make this country a better country, for our veterans," Scott said to the crowd in closing. "It's the most important thing I think we can do."

Scott spoke with the media following his speech and gave his thoughts on the current algae crisis and the claims by current senator and Scott's opponent in November, Democrat Bill Nelson, that Scott's to blame for the issue.

"Our Department of Environmental Protection, the budget's up 30 percent since I got elected. We have funded project after project. We have record funding to deal with the Everglades," he said.

Scott spent some time pointing out the mistakes Nelson has made.

"He's been there 40 years and done nothing. And all he can do right now is attack," said Scott.

"I'm going to represent this state," Scott said when asked what he's going to do that Nelson didn't. "He's good at doing nothing."

He mentioned how it was he who got the money for the Herbert Hoover Dike restorations, and how it could've been done sooner if not for Nelson.

"I've got the money for the dike, finally. That'll take until 2022," he said.

"What Congress still needs to do - and President Trump has already approved it - is the EAA reservoir. And we've put in $800 million. The feds are actually $900 million behind, in an agreement they made with us years ago, to match us with Everglades funding."

"I'm going to focus on - just like I've done - is record funding for the environment, record funding for transportation, record funding for reports," Scott said. "I'm going to make sure, if we're going to send our federal taxes up there, we're going to get our fair share back."

Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj



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