Rick Scott announces Senate run in Orlando

Casey Dawson
April 10, 2018

Some environmental groups are speaking out against Gov. Rick Scott's U.S. Senate bid.

Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced Monday that he'll be challenging Sen.

In a midterm election in which many political observers believe President Donald Trump's presidency could be an issue that could impact political races, Scott doesn't expect it to be an issue for his candidacy - even though he has been a supporter of Trump and the president has urged Scott to run for Nelson's seat.

Before he gets a chance to set Washington right, he's going to spend an terrible lot of money, and so will his opponent. "This concept of career politicians has got to stop".

"I've always run every race like there's no tomorrow - regardless of my opponent", Nelson said in the statement.

Asked if he considers himself a "Donald Trump Republican", Scott told Politico: "I consider myself Rick Scott. A lot of [undecided voters] will be showing up specifically to send a message to Trump, the same way they specifically sent a message to Obama".

"I never planned to fit in, and I won't fit in Washington either".

"I didn't fit into Tallahassee.because I didn't play the insider games".

Scott also recounted Florida's recovery from the recession under his leadership, pointing to job creation, tax cuts, a reduction in state debt and a record numbers in tourism. "At the same time we need votes", he said. Scott spoke in Spanish during the event and talked up his efforts to support Puerto Rico after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria previous year. He credited his late mother and the opportunities provided by living in the United States for his rise as a lawyer who founded the Columbia/HCA health conglomerate. "It's time to shake that place up", he said in his video, calling the federal government broken. "If he were to become a backbencher in the U.S. Senate, it would put too much of our national future at stake". Scott said he would get Congress to work for the American people - not establishment politicians.

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"We can change Washington". "Let's stop sending talkers to Washington, let's send some doers".

But he's also got one potential weakness: Perhaps more than any other major Republican Senate candidate this cycle, Scott is uniquely tied to President Trump.

There was no evidence of that Scott on Monday, though.

Scott's response to the hurricanes has drawn some criticism, particularly in regard to the deaths at a Broward County nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma, but also considerable praise. Bill Nelson on Monday, officially kicking off one of 2018's most important - and likely most expensive - races.

In 2014, Scott beat former Gov. Charlie Crist by a margin of 48.1 percent to 47.1 percent. Shortly after Scott's announcement, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rated the race a toss-up. A February Quinnipiac University poll found 49 percent of Florida voters approve of Scott, compared with 40 percent who disapprove.

Scott's approval rating has climbed in recent months.

Scott is not considered to have any formidable primary opponents and is expected to face three-term Sen. Everyone assumed it'd be about the Senate race.

However, both his gubernatorial victories came in years that strongly favored Republicans.

A two-time cancer survivor whose Hodgkin lymphoma has been in remission for five years, Hodge held a sign that read "healthcare is not a luxury".

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