Florida Governor Rick Scott Enters Race for Senate


“Washington is a disaster.”  — Florida Governor Rick Scott (R-FL), candidate for Senate in 2018

There has been speculation swirling about Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) for months, and on Monday he finally made his plans clear when he announced that he’d be running for Senate in 2018. 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott made his long-awaited Senate candidacy official Monday, setting up an epic battle against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and testing the limits of whether a close alliance with President Donald Trump is political poison or a pathway to success in the nation’s biggest swing state.

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“I consider myself Rick Scott. I don’t consider myself any type of anything,” the governor told POLITICO in an exclusive interview Sunday when asked whether he considers himself a “Donald Trump Republican.”

As he launched his candidacy in Orlando on Monday morning, Scott positioned himself as an outsider. “Some people will tell you that as governor I never really fit in or played by the political rules in Tallahassee. Well, that is true. I never planned to fit in,” Scott told the crowd, according to prepared remarks. “And I won’t fit in in Washington either. It’s time to shake that place up. We don’t need another politician in Washington; it’s full of politicians, and that’s why it’s broken.”

The Scott-Nelson matchup will be one of the nation’s most closely watched Senate races this year as national Republicans try to hold on to control of the House and Senate against an energized Democratic base.

“I run on what I believe in. I’ve been very clear,” Scott told POLITICO on Sunday. “People ask me that a bunch of times, about ‘Are you this or are you that?’ No. I’m Rick Scott. I grew up poor. I believe in jobs.”

Scott hopes to replace incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson (D-FL) who is hoping to win his 4th consecutive election to the Senate.

Scott seems likely to run as a “populist” candidate in the mold of his good friend, Donald Trump. One of the first policy announcements that he made during his speech entering the race, was a plan to introduce term limits on Congress. He also spoke over and over again about how big of a mess Washington is, and how voters shouldn’t be sending the same people back year after year.

“Washington is a disaster,” said Scott, who called for congressional term limits during his brief campaign kickoff at an Orlando construction company. “We shouldn’t be sending the same kind of people to Washington.”

According to the most recent polls, Scott has a hard road ahead. He currently trails the incumbent by some 3 points in the average of polls.

However, all of that polling was from before he announced his candidacy and Bill Nelson is not a terribly popular Senator, so the race could shift quickly for Scott.

Governor Scott already has the support of another former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush.

More importantly, the even more popular Marco Rubio (R-FL) also chimed in asking Florida’s voters to send Scott to D.C.

Tuesday morning he appeared on Fox & Friends in an effort to sell his candidacy to the American people.



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