Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary has been one of the ugliest, most bitter races in the country this year, and it is fittingly dragging on to a bitter end.
With the Democratic Senate primary settled, the gubernatorial race between Republicans Bill McCollum and Rick Scott is still too close to call. Scott leads with 47%, while McCollum trails with 43%, with 1.12 million votes cast according to the Division of Elections. (AP returns show results that differ by a few decimals, with just over 70% of precincts reporting.)
Scott, a former hospital executive, has spent over $50 million
on his campaign, loaning his campaign $38.9 million. That spending has dwarfed McCollum's, although the attorney general has been aided by soft-money groups; in Florida, state-level candidates are allowed to coordinate campaign activity with such groups (federal election law prohibits collaboration in federal races).
The campaign has seen Scott accuse McCollum and Republican Party of Florida Chairman John Thrasher of knowing more than they let on about former Chairman Jim Greer's defrauding of the party by steering funds to a firm in which he was involved. Republican Governor's Association Chairman Haley Barbour stepped in to defend McCollum.
McCollum, meanwhile, has played up a fraud lawsuit against a health care company Scott co-founded, for which Scott was deposed, asking him to release his sealed deposition (he won't).
It's been nasty, and the nastiness isn't over yet.