The Villages takes a break from political involvement
In the summer of 2014, the family behind The Villages, the retirement community that straddles three counties in central Florida, came through for Gov. Rick Scott in a big way.
With the Republican governor in the midst of a tough re-election race, members of the Morse family injected more than $100,000 into Scott’s campaign via at least 36 checks, each for $3,000, the maximum allowed under state law. The checks came from Gary Morse, the family patriarch, billionaire founder of The Villages and Republican Party fundraiser — along with his spouse, his children, their spouses and an assortment of corporate entities with names like Lazy B Cattle, a hunting ranch, and 44A Partners, apparently named after a local highway. (Employees and contractors of The Villages wrote even more checks for Scott, most of which were delivered at the same time.)
A few months later, in October 2014, Gary Morse passed away at age 77. The Villages’ involvement in politics hasn’t been the same since.
ALSO IN THIS ARTICLE: Mark Morse; Al Butler; Gary Lester.
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