TALLAHASSEE Esther Scott, the 84-year-old mother of Gov. Rick Scott who became something of a political celebrity during her son’s 2010 campaign, has died.
He said she died in her hometown of Kansas City, Mo. She had been hospitalized since last month with an infection.
“She had a great life,” said Scott, who added that she got to live the “American dream” after struggling financially for many years.
“My Mom — one of the only constants in my life — has passed away,” Scott posted on his Twitter account Tuesday. “Ann and I are comforted by all the thoughts and prayers for our family.”
Scott canceled events last month and flew to Kansas City to visit his mother, who was in intensive care. He returned a few days later saying that he had a great trip and that “prayers are working.”
Esther Scott was introduced to Floridians as part of Scott’s maverick bid for governor in 2010. She had been a visible part of Scott’s election campaign, traveling on Scott’s campaign bus and recording a television ad where she called her son a “good boy.”
The state Republican Party used her in another television ad in 2011 where she said her son had “made me proud” and that he was keeping his campaign promises.
Scott would often reference his mother in discussing his business background, and how he purchased his first business — a doughnut shop — in part so that she could have a job.
Scott returned to a Tampa doughnut shop last year as part of a “workday” and then later paid for his mother to fly to Tampa to meet the doughnut shop owner herself.
On the campaign trail, Rick Scott reminded voters that he spent part of his childhood in public housing and that his adoptive father was sometimes out of work.
“No one would have thought she would ever have a son that would become governor of Florida,” he said on Tuesday.
Her son’s wealth allowed Esther Scott to see the world and have all kinds of new experiences in her later years. She traveled to Antarctica, Africa, Europe and the Galapagos with him and his family. At 65, when she wanted to learn to ski, her son arranged for an instructor at Beaver Creek, Colo.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.