It will be the most expensive senate race in U.S. history. And this one will go a long way in deciding the political direction of the country in 2018 – and beyond. This single election – in a true swing state – will not only make a huge statement; it will be a major factor in determining whether the senate switches from Republican to Democratic leadership. Which state are we talking about?
Sitting Governor Rick Scott has announced his intention to run for the senate in a direct challenge to incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. In making his announcement, Scott called Washington “horribly dysfunctional.”
The Republican governor, a multi-millionaire who won the governorship in 2010 as a political novice, emphasized to Politico that he’s independent-minded, not to be labeled a “Donald Trump Republican.”
“I consider myself Rick Scott. I don’t consider myself any type of anything,” he said.
“I run on what I believe in. I’ve been very clear,” he added. “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.”
That line is almost an understatement for Scott: The “jobs” message is the raison d’etre for his political identity, born in 2010 when faith in the state and national economy were low and unemployment numbers were high. “Jobs, jobs, jobs” was Scott’s mantra in English and, during phone-banking campaign stops in Miami in 2010 and 2014, in Spanish: “trabajo, trabajo, trabajo.”
“What I focused on when I got elected was getting 700,000 jobs over seven years and changing the direction of the state,” Scott told Politico. “And the business community has really shown up. We cut their taxes, reduced regulation and we’ve added about 1.5 million jobs.”
About the Author
Leah Barkoukis is a writer for Politico.