TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The man widely credited with masterminding Rick Scott’s 2010 outsider campaign for governor has been hired by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and Florida political insiders from both sides of the isle say Democrats should be concerned.
While former Scott campaign staffers line up to work for the Trump, Scott has been a leading voice urging GOP unity behind Trump.
Scott’s 2010 victory was improbable: An outsider running against the establishment. Sound familiar?
The mastermind behind Scott’s TV-driven campaign was pollster Tony Fabrizio. Now Fabrizio has been hired by Trump.
“I would say without Tony Fabrizio, we would have been hard-pressed to win that race,” former Scott aide Jon Costello said.
Costello was one of the first Floridians to sign on to the Scott Camp back then. He said Fabrizio was much more than a pollster.
“He does the polling, but he has the unique ability to turn that into the message and figure out who you need to get that message to and really drive it," Costello said. "He’s really the total package.”
But it isn’t just Scott insiders who think Fabrizio will give Trump an edge.
"Tony Fabrizio worked for Rick Scott, a guy nobody thought should win. Very similar background," said 2012 Obama Florida campaign manager Steve Schale. "Businessman outside of politics, found a path to victory. The one thing Tony will do, he’ll find a way for Trump to win. It doesn’t mean we can’t still win the race, but he’s putting a smart guy around him, and I think we need to take him seriously."
Fabrizio isn’t the only Scott alum working for Trump. At least three Scott staffers have signed on, and the old adage that so goes Florida, goes the nation, might be why Trump is bringing on the tried and true from Florida.