Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday that he’d raised more than $3 million in the first three weeks of his campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
“It is clear that Americans are ready to see a change in Washington,” Scott said. “I appreciate the support of everyone who has helped us reach this incredible announcement today, but this is just the start. I look forward to continuing to tell Floridians why we need to get rid of the career politicians and make Washington work for us.”
That sum matches what Nelson was able to bring in during the first quarter of the year, and Scott’s Florida Finance chairwoman, Darlene Jordan, said it’s “only the beginning.”
“Every dollar raised gets us closer to electing a results-driven leader who will shake up Washington, D.C. We are thankful to everyone who has helped kick off this campaign, and we look forward to continuing to build on this momentum and accomplishment,” she said.
The campaign said the $3.2 million it reported came in through individual contributions and did not include any money from Scott – a necessary clarification considering his gubernatorial campaigns.
If Scott has boosted the campaign with some of his own cash, as many believe, the campaign’s war chest could be even higher.
“This fundraising triumph makes it clear that the excitement of sending a leader like Governor Rick Scott to D.C. can be felt all across the country,” said National Finance chair Thomas Hicks. “We are grateful to all those who have contributed so far, and we will continue to fight each day to keep this momentum going and get Governor Scott to the U.S. Senate.”
Scott, who faces term limits as governor, ended more than a year of speculation on his next move when he announced his bid for U.S. Senate three weeks ago.
Nelson is running for his fourth term in the Senate, and through March had about $10.5 million banked for his re-election bid.
Florida’s U.S. Senate race has national implications. Nelson is one of 10 Senators up for re-election in 2018 in a state that voted for Trump in 2016, and defending his seat is a near requirement for Democrats to have a shot at retaking the chamber.
A recent poll of the contest, conducted after Scott filed, showed Nelson with a six-point lead in the race. The poll assumes registered Democrats will outnumber Republicans at the polls by a point.