Nelson began his political career in the era when Democrats controlled Florida government. Washington is exhausted. And the truth is, both political parties share some of the blame.
In his statement, the governor targets Washington, D.C.as "a disaster" "dysfunctional" and full of "tired thinking". "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.
"Not only did Bill Nelson vote against the GOP tax cuts responsible for bigger paychecks, new job opportunities and higher wages, but Floridians now must worry about Nelson repealing their new economic benefits", National Republican Senate Committee communications director Katie Martin said.
"We are encouraged that pro-life Governor Rick Scott has entered the Senate race in Florida", said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, a group that seeks to reduce and end abortion.
"What I focused on when I got elected [governor] was getting 700,000 jobs over seven years and changing the direction of the state", he told Politico Sunday.
When he ran in 2010, Scott initially was known for his public awkwardness, stumbling through speeches and insisting on a buffer between himself and crowds.
"We must change Washington".
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The approach made Scott one of the most unpopular governors in the nation, but that has changed in recent years as Scott has moderated his tone and his policy proposals - he backed Medicaid expansion at one point and has pushed for more environmental spending - while making outreach efforts to a broader spectrum of voters, particularly Hispanics.
"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. "His connection with Donald Trump can hurt him".
Scott will challenge Democratic Sen.
Scott's announcement was widely expected and Democrats have already mobilized against his campaign.
"(Scott) used the Pulse tragedy as a political prop while shamelessly touting an A-plus rating from the NRA", said Anna Eskamani, a Democratic candidate for an Orlando-area state House seat.
Scott was introduced at the event at ODC Construction company by the lieutenant governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Rivera-Marin, who said the island would be "forever grateful" for Scott's help in recovering from a series of damaging hurricanes.
The governor has also made national headlines for leading Florida during Hurricane Irma late past year and the recent deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., which has elevated the debate over gun policy. The Republicans said Scott is expected to be in Washington on April 19.
One emerging complication for Scott is his relationship with Sen. Scott can put his own money into the campaign, but those close to him say he will rely most heavily on funding from donors. "We have to have term limits on Congress".