WFTV talks to Gov. Scott about state Rep. Mike Horner


ORLANDO, Fla. - WFTV expects to get the short list of possible replacements for Florida Rep. Mike Horner.

He abruptly pulled out of his re-election bid earlier this week after it was revealed his name was on the client list of an Orange County brothel.

WFTV's Drew Petrimoulx asked Gov. Rick Scott about the scandal during a stop in Orlando.

"My heart goes out to his family and to him. You always hope things like that would never happen to individuals, but your heart goes out to him," said Scott.

In Kissimmee Thursday afternoon, Scott said he felt sorry for Horner and his family but did not seem worried that having a fellow Republican named as a john at a local brothel would hurt the state party.

"Are you worried that Republicans won't be able to maintain that seat?" Petrimoulx asked. "It's traditionally a strong Republican seat."

"Well, I am not sure who they're going to pick to run in that seat, but I'm sure it'll be a good candidate, and we'll see what the public, you know, the voters, want," said Scott.

Horner dropped out of the District 42 race this week after his involvement with the brothel went public.

Since then, Republican officials have been scrambling to find a replacement to run against Democrat Ileen Game in a seat that, before the scandal, was thought to be a sure win for Republicans.

The deadline for potential candidates to submit their names for consideration is 10 a.m. Friday.

A Republican nominating committee made up of representatives from Osceola and Polk counties, where District 42 lies, will then meet Saturday morning at 9 a.m. to make the selection.

WFTV tried to reach out to Game, who actually lives in Highlands County, outside of District 42, but she has not responded.

As for who will replace Horner in the race, WFTV was told both Jimmy Nelson, the chairman of the Polk County Republican Executive Committee, and Osceola County Commissioner Frank Attkisson are among those considered to be front-runners.