VIDEO/PHOTOS: Howdy neighbor: Rick Scott, Collier Democratic offices in same plaza

Skipper McShea was at work for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rick Scott inside the campaign office in the Marquesa Plaza in Naples on Monday, June 28, 2010.

Photo by CARRIE WISE // Buy this photo

Skipper McShea was at work for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rick Scott inside the campaign office in the Marquesa Plaza in Naples on Monday, June 28, 2010.

Campaign central at the Marquesa Plaza

Rick Scott and Collier Dems are neighbors ...

— The Marquesa Plaza will be campaign central this election season.

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rick Scott has set up a local campaign office in the plaza, which is on the southeast corner of Pine Ridge and Livingston roads. A few doors down the Collier County Democratic Executive Committee is preparing to open its own headquarters.

“Actually, we looked at his suite down there,” said Greg Gargan, vice president of the Collier County Democratic Club.

The Collier Democrats weren’t quick enough to sign on the dotted line and ended up in suite No. 6, unaware that Scott’s campaign had secured the other location.

“We’re actually complimented by the fact that his office is here,” said Gargan. “Here’s a guy with enough money to put it any place.”

Maria Jimenez, vice chair of the Democratic Executive Committee of Collier County, said the location played a big part in the decision to set up there.

“We wanted to have a presence in the middle of Collier County very close to Golden Gate, which is where the majority of Democrats live,” said Jimenez.

Gargan and other volunteers are renovating the space with some wall partitions, carpet and paint to make it more appealing. The plan is to open in a couple of weeks, and they will also share the office with Democratic congressional candidate Joe Garcia.

“This will be our Democratic headquarters,” said Jimenez. “Our hours will vary, and we’ll be open on evenings and weekends” to cater to as many people as possible.

Rick Scott’s campaign spokeswoman, Jen Baker, said she’s unsure why they picked this location, but that it was a “natural place to have an office” since Scott has a home in Naples.

Baker also said she wasn’t aware the local Democrats are opening an office in the same plaza.

“We have no control who is in the vicinity,” said Baker.

The Collier Democrats see being neighbors in the plaza as healthy competition.

“I don’t think this is going to be bad at all,” said Gargan. “I think actually it will be a motivation for our people.”

© 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 1

greathornedlizard writes:

Speaking as a lifelong Democrat, we either need a new candidate in 2012 or President Obama had better "plug that blasted hole!"

Mr. President, you needed to open up a New Orleans White House at least a month ago.
What's going on is the destruction of the Gulf of Mexico, will the Gulf Coast become as forgotten as Galveston Island or New Orleans have become since Katrina and Ike?

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