Florida Governor to Challenge Bill Nelson for Senate Seat

Florida Senator Bill Nelson

Three-term Florida Sen. Bill Nelson — a major supporter of NASA and the space program — will face a challenge in November from Florida Gov. Rick Scott, The Hill reports.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced on Monday that he’ll challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D), setting up a marquee battle that could help decide which party controls the Senate.

Scott sought to paint himself as an outsider and vowed to “shake up Washington” if elected in November, without naming Nelson during his speech….

Scott’s long-awaited announcement ends months of speculation and sets up what is expected to be the costliest race of the cycle against Nelson, a three-term incumbent.

It will also serve as a test for President Trump given the White House’s efforts to recruit Scott for the race. Trump won Florida in 2016’s presidential contest by a little more than a percentage point.

Scott, who because of term limits cannot run for a third term as governor, is a close ally of Trump. While Trump carried the state, Democrats and even some Republican believe that his closeness to Trump could be a liability if the president’s approval numbers don’t improve.

  • Tom Billings

    “While Trump carried the state, Democrats and even some Republicans believe that his closeness to Trump could be a liability if the president’s approval numbers don’t improve.”

    That will depend strongly on who actually turns out to vote.Those who are *not* 4-year college graduates are nationally running to 60 percent approval for Trump by now. It will be interesting to see whether this is anywhere close to the numbers for Florida come November.

    Unfortunately, I expect that whoever wins will run toward supporting SLS/Orion, both during and after the election, till at least 2022. That’s when Shelby has *said* he will resign, including his new position as Chair of the full Senate Appropriations Committee. Unless someone with equal power and seniority takes his place as the key link of the SLS/Orion Coalition, that, and maybe a Mars landing by a certain reusable launcher, could do in SLS, …finally! That would free up whoever *does* win this election to support market allocation of resources for a true space industry, instead of a government-dominated bunch of craft shops.

    We must wait upon events!

  • Paul451

    The Democrats are skilled at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. However, in the off-season special elections, which typically attract even fewer Dem-leaning voters than mid-terms, swings have still ranged from 10-25% in their favour.