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Florida governor calls off alligator hunt campaign fundraiser

Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott speaks at a ceremony opening new newsroom facilities for the Univision and Fusion television networks in
Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott speaks at a ceremony opening new newsroom facilities for the Univision and Fusion television networks in

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - Florida Governor Rick Scott has called off a "private" alligator hunting trip on October 18 to raise funds for his 2014 re-election campaign.

Golfing weekends, concerts and deep-sea fishing fundraisers are common in Florida politics, but a gator hunt was such an anomaly that it made major news among bloggers and political websites.

Scott, a Republican, was first elected in 2010 and could face a challenge from former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-Democrat, who is mulling a gubernatorial bid.

John French, head of Scott's "Let's Get to Work" campaign committee, told reporters Tuesday night the hunting outing has been canceled. He gave no reason for the decision.

A former Republican state senator, Paula Dockery, had questioned the legitimacy of the campaign gator hunt, noting state limits on the number of hunting permits.

"This raises a few questions. Usually licenses/permits done by lottery. How do they get enough for all donors?" Dockery tweeted.

(Reporting Bill Cotterell; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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