When Rick Scott decided to run for governor last spring, his wife, Ann Scott, had one requirement - no speeches on her part.
“That lasted about 30 days,” Ann Scott told about 200 people gathered in the atrium of the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science on Monday afternoon for a tribute in her honor.
Ann and Rick Scott stood on a stairway, their daughters Allison Guimard and Jordan Kandah flanking them on either side. Rick Scott's mother, and about a half dozen of Ann Scott's friends joined them on the staircase.A banner reading “Florida: Forging a Path to Prosperity” hung behind them.
Guimard broke down in tears as she spoke about her mother.
“My mom was an amazing mom, but she was more than that to Jordan and me,” Guimard said. She was also a confidant and a friend. She'll do the same thing for the people of Florida.”
Friends described Ann Scott as caring, energetic and well organized.
Rick Scott kissed his wife at least three times during the tribute. He recalled being a “chicken” when it came to asking Ann out on their first date while they were in high school.
“I feel honored that Ann decided to go out with me and accepted my proposal to marry me,” he said. “She'll be a great first lady and I love her just as much as I loved her when we first went out.”
Before lunch, Ann Scott thanked her family and the people in attendance.
“Rick and I are so excited to be here in Tallahassee and for making the governor's mansion our new home,” she said. “As always, our home is your home. So please, feel free to come anytime.”
That comment drew some unintended laughter from the crowd.
“Sorry, I didn't really mean that,” Ann Scott said. “I forgot to check with the (Florida Department of Law Enforcement).”
The tribute to Ann Scott is just part of a whirlwind of activity in Tallahassee today and Tuesday surrounding Rick Scott's inauguration. The morning started with the “Salute to Women in Leadership” breakfast at Florida State University.
This afternoon's itinerary includes a military appreciation concert and a youth concert at the Leon County Civic Center.