Florida Gov. Rick Scott formally announces run for Senate, challenging Bill Nelson

Florida Gov. Rick Scott formally announces run for Senate, challenging Bill Nelson

Scott has been Florida's governor since 2010 and was urged by President Donald Trump to run for U.S. Senate. "I know he's asked me to get into the race".

Nelson began his political career in the era when Democrats controlled Florida government. Both political parties share some of the blame.

"Washington is a disaster; there's [sic] a lot of old, exhausted thinking up there, [and] it's not heading in the right direction", Scott said.

"We need need to send people up there for doers, I think what we do is send talkers", said Scott.

Scott won his two gubernatorial campaigns in expensive, highly negative races where he edged out Democratic opponents. Nelson said Scott has not done enough - he wants universal background checks and a ban on certain types of semi-automatic rifles.

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. Bill Nelson (D) in November's general election. That's at least one change that hasn't come to Washington.

"It's going to be clearly a set of contrasts on so many issues, from the environment to sea level rise to oil drilling off the coast, to the expansion of Medicaid in Florida", Nelson told reporters.

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"Rick Scott has spent seven years ignoring Florida's middle class, while enriching himself and his political cronies by millions of dollars", said Joshua Karp, a spokesman for American Bridge 21st Century, a super PAC that promotes Democratic candidates.

Democrats have been anticipating his move for months and have ramped up their criticism, noting that Scott had been forced out as chief executive of Columbia/HCA amid a federal fraud investigation.

But, in an interview with Politco on Sunday, Scott insists that while he supports the president, he is his own man.

Early polling-and keep in mind these polls were conducted before Scott's official announcement-has the race close to even.

Scott was introduced at the event at ODC Construction company by the lieutenant governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Rivera-Marin, who said the island would be "forever grateful" for Scott's help in recovering from a series of damaging hurricanes. "The Republicans are looking to Gov. Scott to be successful in Florida".

Critics say the state would be adding jobs regardless of Scott's policies, and they deride his economic record as one of low-wage job growth. Mike Rounds support Scott on CNN's "New Day" Monday morning, but didn't fully endorse him, saying: "Senator Nelson is a friend of mine".

"While it's hard to envision any competitive, top ticket race in this state being won by 7 percent, or 500,000 votes, as this sample now shows the race, it is understandable why the governor has this lead on Nelson with such high job approval, image ratings and positive direction of the state under his watch", said Ryan Tyson, AIF's vice president of political operations.

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