US Sen. Rubio and Gov. Scott no shows at Romney rally in Ormond Beach

NSB News is New Smyrna Beach's 24/7 Internet newspaper accessed by NSBNews.net

Ann Romney, Pam Bondi, Mitt RomneyNSBNews.net photo by Sera Frederick / Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi introduces Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, to 2,500 supporters in Ormond Beach on Sunday evening.

ORMOND BEACH -- State Attorney General Pam Bondi was here Sunday night to support Mitt Romney at the big rally, but where were other Sunshine State Republican office holders? NSB News reached out to the offices of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman John Mica, Congresswoman Sandy Adams and Gov. Rick Scott.

Both the Rubio and Scott camps said they were remaining neutral -- at least for the time being.

Rubio's press secretary, Alex Conant, told NSB News this morning: "Yes, he was in Florida Sunday, but he's staying neutral."

Rubio, the freshman senator has been mentioned frequently as a possible running mate for the eventual Republican nominee, though he's consistently said he's focused on looking out for Florida's residents in the Senate. 

Gov. Scott, who ran successfully in 2010 as a fiscal conservative over Democrat Alex Sink, was the second highest Republican figure not by Romney's side.

"The governor hasn't endorsed anyone," said Lane Wright, his press secretary. "He was asked the question of endorsement last week by reporters and he said he if he did it would be before the primary, but he may not endorse anyone at all."

Florida's Republican primary is eight days from now on Jan. 31. And with Newt Gingrich's stunning victory over Romney on Saturday, the nomination is far from sewn up for the former Massachusetts governor.

Scott's spokesman said the Florida governor didn't want to be seen as showing up Gingrich by showing up at Romney's first campaign stop in the Sunshine State sandwiched between South Carolina and the upcoming vote in the Sunshine state.

"What Governor Scott is most concerned about is making sure we have a partner in the White House who understands it's the private sector that creates jobs. Not government."

Congressman John Mica, whose 7th district ,includes Ormond Beach, was not in attendance, but has already endorsed Romney.

Mica was in Philadelphia with his wife's family, said his legislative director, Brian Waldrip, but added Mica did give national interviews in Washington in support of Romney at his request.

Waldrip said Mica endorsed Romney a couple weeks ago. Mica's district stretches from Apopka to Palm Valley just south of Jacksonville.

Perhaps it's a stretch to expect Adams to be here since she represents the 24th district, ending just a few miles down the road in the Port Orange, South Daytona and New Smyrna Beach areas within Volusia County. But still, it's a stone's throw away.

A staffer in Adams' Washington office referred NSB News to the voice mail of her communications director, Lisa Boothe. A message left with her mid-morning remains unanswered.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com, launched in 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among Florida's most experienced reporters specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting and winner of multiple state, regional & national journalism awards in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of his three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores this Fall. 
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