Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott is expected on Monday to announce he?s running for the U.S. Senate, challenging Democrat Bill Nelson in a race expected to be among the most competitive contests to decide which party controls Congress.
Scott scheduled a 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) announcement on his Facebook page, where he is expected to kick off his campaign against Nelson, first elected in 2000 and currently the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida.
The move has been widely expected, which Scott noted in an interview with Politico on Sunday. ?You?re probably surprised, but I?m going to announce I?m running for senator,? Scott told Politico. ?You?re shocked, right??
State Democrats regarded the wealthy governor, who is barred by law from running for a third term, as enough of a threat that the party has scheduled press conferences with elected Democrats around the state later in the day to make a case against electing Scott to the Senate.
Nelson is one of 10 Democratic senators up for re-election this year in states won by Trump. While he is not seen as the most vulnerable incumbent, every competitive Senate race matters since Republicans hold a one-vote majority in the chamber.
Nelson has been a fixture in Florida politics for decades. He rose from the state legislature to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and has held state cabinet posts.