Gov. Scott Enters Race For U.S. Senate As GOP Challenger To Bill Nelson

Florida

Florida Gov. Rick Scott will enter the U.S. Senate race. In a Twitter posting, he says the announcement will happen Monday morning at 10 a.m. and will be carried live on Facebook.

The setting for Scott’s announcement will take place at ODC Construction in Orlando, followed by a second announcement at Sun Harvest in Fort Myers.

Scott a Republican who has been a two-term governor and a big-time supporter of President Donald Trump will face a strong competitor in Democratic United States Sen. Bill Nelson. The former astronaut has been elected to represent Florida to four terms in Washington.

This is expected to be the most expensive race in the United States for any office in the 2018 midterms. For months, President Trump and other GOP leaders have been urging the 65-year-old Scott, to challenge Democratic Sen. Nelson.

Republicans are defending a 51-49 majority, and officials say he will make the race instantly competitive and force Democrats to devote considerable resources to the contest that they would have spent in other battlegrounds.

The Washington Post was first to report that Scott will be headed to Washington next week to start picking up checks to build up his campaign war chest. The get together is set to take place on April 19th but the location of the fundraiser has not been disclosed.

Thus far Scott has been a two-time winner but both of his races have been very close. Scott beat two Democrats, Alex Sink by 1.2 percentage points in 2010 and Charlie Crist by 1 point in 2014. But he did win.

Two things could make things tough on Scott in the Sunshine State. First is his strong support for President Trump and his handling of the Parkland mass shooting attack that killed 17 people.

First Trump won Florida by 100,000 votes in 2016. But the most recent polls taken by Gallup reported that 51 percent of Floridians disapproved of his job performance, and only 42 percent approved.

Scott’s stance on health care could be a major factor in the race as it is at the top of all polls taken on the most important issues voters want to take care of heading into the 2018 midterms.

Scott was instrumental in getting state lawmakers to pass some restrictions opposed by the NRA, including raising the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and requiring a three-day waiting period to the purchase of long guns. The NRA is suing to block the law.

The Florida legislation didn’t incorporate the assault weapons ban many survivors demanded, and it included a controversial proposal to let some schools arm staff members. But Scott won praise for bringing Parkland parents and state lawmakers together to pass a bill considered significant given the state’s pro-gun climate. But will it be enough given Scott’s high NRA grade of A-plus rating could put Nelson on firmer ground on the issue despite Scott’s more moderate position that he has recently adopted.

So, this will be a very expensive and interesting race that will be a major story not only in Florida but around the country.

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.