The states are high in the 2018 mid-term election as Republicans look to keep their majority in both chambers of Congress, while Democrats try win back the Senate, and arguably try to mitigate the damage to President Obama’s legacy that President Trump is waging.
But the road to a Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate runs through the swing state of Florida, and Democrats need to preserve senior Senator Bill Nelson’s seat. Saving Nelson’s seat is looking to be a very heavy political lift for Democrats as Florida Governor Rick Scott is on the verge of challenging Nelson as soon as the current legislative session ends.
Aside from being able to pen himself a big campaign check, Scott’s probable senate campaign will garner significant financial support from the National Republican Party around the country. Scott will also see support come from outside groups that have targeted Nelson’s seat for defeat since news first broke that Scott could run for the U.S. Senate in 2018.
Money aside, Scott’s positive statewide approval numbers and job-creation bona fides could be the biggest challenges Democrats will have to contend with.
Florida’s economy has been up, way up, since Scott first took office 2011, and his influence and loyalty to President Trump is politically paying big dividends for Florida, and for his potential senatorial campaign.
To complicate things a bit more for Democrats is the fact that President Trump is fast-tracking Scott’s request for expedited federal funds to help fixing the Herbert Hoover Dike on Lake Okeechobee.
Aside from receiving the president’s commitment to fix the dike, the Republican-led Florida legislature has already accepted Scott’s $50 million request complete reparations to the dike.
“Today, President Donald J. Trump instructed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney to accelerate the completion of repairs to Florida’s Herbert Hoover Dike,” said the White House, adding, “the Herbert Hoover Dike, which surrounds Lake Okeechobee and provides flood protection to South Florida, was identified by the Army Corps in the early 2000s to be at high risk of failure and in need of repairs to address significant dam safety and stability issues.”
“The Administration, working closely with Florida Governor Rick Scott, will now plan to expedite work at the project. The Administration is pleased to see Florida allocate additional State funding to the project in order to bring this major infrastructure priority to completion more quickly and cost-effectively.”-The White House
The Trump Administration is also receiving federal pressure from both U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D).
Nelson knows very well how important of fixing the dam is to Floridians and his political career, and his been pressing the issue up in Washington by penning a letter with Rubio asking the Army Corp of Engineers to make sure the dike gets the necessary funding it needs from the upcoming $10 billion “disaster supplemental construction funding.”
Both Nelson and Scott are moving mountains to help Floridians get theirs, but in the end, who will have the ultimate advantage in Florida’s 2018 U.S. Senate race?
As of now, Governor Rick Scott appears to have the wind at his back.