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United States

Florida Governor Rick Scott announces US Senate run, says ‘Washington’s a disaster’

Scott enters the race as Republicans face the challenge of maintaining control of Congress in the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 April, 2018, 12:38am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 April, 2018, 5:15am

Florida’s Republican Governor, Rick Scott, announced his bid for the US Senate on Monday, setting up a high-profile race against a Democratic incumbent in November’s midterm elections.

Scott, who has a year left in his second term as governor, enters the race as Republicans face the challenge of maintaining their control of Congress in the second year of fellow Republican Donald Trump’s presidency.

Scott, a multimillionaire businessman turned politician, made his announcement during a speech in Orlando, touting his success at creating new jobs in the state. 

“I will bust my butt to win this election,” Scott, 65, told a cheering crowd of supporters. “We together will win.”

“We have to all acknowledge: Washington’s a disaster, it’s dysfunctional,” Scott added. “There’s a lot of old tired thinking up there.” 

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Scott made no mention of Trump, or whether he backs the president’s policies.

Scott assumed office in 2011, and has been seen as a blue-chip Republican recruit to challenge Senator Bill Nelson in November.

Democrats swiftly laid out their argument against Scott. 

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee head Mindy Myers branded him a “self-serving and dishonest” governor who oversaw poor job growth and has deflected responsibility in times of crisis, including a February mass shooting in which 17 people were killed at a high school in Parkland.

Nelson has represented Florida in the Senate since 2001.