Gov. Rick Scott is accepting invitations to participate in three fall debates leading up to the November election, in which he will try to oust incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
Among the network hosts: CNN, Telemundo 51 in Miami, and Jacksonville’s WJXT Channel 4 (co-hosted by the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute).
Dates and times of the debates are not yet available, though the Scott campaign said they’d take place in the fall — presumably well after the Aug. 28 primary. Neither candidate faces formidable opposition from within their parties.
The news follows Scott’s campaign announcement that a fourth-consecutive ad attacking Nelson will air across Florida televisions this week. And a healthy bit of criticism of the sitting Senator accompanied news of the debates.
A Scott campaign spokeswoman said the campaign is “curious” to see how Nelson will defend his tenure.
“Bill Nelson continues to be all talk, no action on the issues, but Floridians won’t settle for smoke and mirrors in a debate setting,” said campaign press secretary Lauren Schenone.
A spokeswoman for Nelson’s campaign said they “look forward to debating Rick Scott many times if he will agree to show up and talk about the issues important to Floridians.” Nelson’s camp expects the incumbent to outshine Scott, who they claim “has spent eight years putting himself and his political career ahead of what’s best for Florida.”
Both camps are reviewing other invitations and expect to make similar announcements in the coming months.