John Stemberger, one of Florida’s top pro-life and pro-family leaders, endorsed Attorney General Bill McCollum Wednesday in the Republican primary race for governor.
Stemberger is president of the Florida Family Policy Council, a pro-family organization long affiliated with Focus on the Family, the nationwide organization founded by Dr. James Dobson.
He made a personal, not an organizational, endorsement in the hotly contested Florida GOP primary, which has pitted popular conservative McCollum, the state's current attorney general, against Rick Scott, a wealthy businessman.
In a multimillion-dollar ad blitz, Scott has sought to claim the conservative mantle and has campaigned as a pro-life candidate.
But McCollum's campaign has noted that the hospital chain Scott founded and ran as CEO provided and profited from abortion services.
Scott's tenure at Columbia/HCA has been a major issue in the campaign. He resigned in 1997 shortly after the FBI began probing the company for Medicare billing fraud. The company later paid $1.6 billion in fines, the largest Medicare fraud case in history.
McCollum has exhibited a "longstanding commitment to Florida and its families," Stemberger said.
"From observing his personal and public life for more than two decades, it is clear that Bill deeply loves his wife, his family, and his country and has forgone what could have been an extremely lucrative career as a corporate attorney to serve the public,” Stemberger said.
“Operating the executive office of the fourth-largest state in the country requires a level of experience and a command of public policy that only Bill McCollum brings to the table,” Stemberger said.
Other notable endorsements for McCollum have come from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
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