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Gingrich’s Florida campaign to be co-chaired by ex-gubernatorial hopeful Bill McCollum

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Former congressman and 2010 gubernatorial hopeful Bill McCollum will spearhead Newt Gingrich’s Florida campaign, The Miami Herald reports.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

McCollum will join former Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty in co-chairing Gingrich’s campaign in the Sunshine State.

McCollum, a former state attorney general and seven-term congressman, is an ally from Gingrich’s days in the House, where he served with Gingrich from 1981 to 1995.

His most recent foray into politics came in 2010, when he ran unsuccessfully for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination in Florida. He lost by three points to Rick Scott, the wealthy businessman who flooded the airwaves with ads and went on to win the governor’s mansion in November.

McCollum ran unsuccessfully statewide twice before 2010: He won the GOP Senate nod in 2000 but fell to Sen. Bill Nelson (D) in the general election. Four years later, McCollum ran for the GOP nomination to succeed outgoing Sen. Bob Graham (D) but came up short against Mel Martinez, who went on to win the seat.

As The Miami Herald’s Marc Caputo notes, McCollum’s teaming up with Gingrich is a sign that Florida’s hotly-contested 2010 gubernatorial race continues to reverberate in the state’s GOP politics; most of Scott’s campaign team has signed on to aid Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) bid.

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