Florida Gov. Rick Scott Announces Senate Run

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson speaks at a twn hall meeting held Friday at the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority headquarters in St. Petersburg

Scott, a friend and ally of President Donald Trump who is being term-limited out of office after eight years as governor, said he's now aiming for the Senate because "career politicians" have created gridlock and dysfunction in the federal government. "Anyone who ever spent time with Jeri knows what a terrific and selfless person she was".

Nelson is 75 years old, and has served as one of Florida's two senators since 2001. Both political parties share some of the blame.

In scripted remarks made available ahead of his announcement in Orlando, Scott called Washington "horribly dysfunctional". "Here's what we shouldn't be doing-we shouldn't be sending the same types of people to Washington", Scott told supporters at his campaign launch in Orlando. Combine the flood of Puerto Ricans coming into the state from the excruciatingly slow recovery from the hurricane with the energizing of the Left by Trump animus overall, and this looks like a tough election season in Florida for Trump allies.

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. Feds indict Backpage execs Scott bid boosts GOP Senate hopes The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D), setting up a marquee battle that could help decide which party controls the Senate.

On the other hand, Bill Nelson's not exactly blowing Scott away in polling either. "We can change Washington, we must change Washington, we will change Washington together".

"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.

"Today with my wife by my side I'm announcing my run for the U.S. Senate for the great state of Florida", Scott said.

Scott will challenge Democratic Sen.

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He is expected to officially make a public announcement Monday afternoon.

Before the killings of 17 people at a Florida high school in February, Scott had an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. Earlier this year, Scott's closeness to the president yielded for his state an exemption from plans to expand offshore drilling.

Scott's comments did not directly attack Bill Nelson, but they did focus on career politicians.

Scott repeatedly talked up his "outsider" status.

One emerging complication for Scott is his relationship with Sen.

The two term Republican governor held a rally at Sun Harvest Citrus, where he touted his job creation record during his tenure.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Mindy Myers outlined how the party will go after Scott, including describing him as "self-serving and dishonest" and that he is "looking out for himself at Floridians' expense".