As Florida Gov. Rick Scott made his announcement on Monday that he is running for the U.S. Senate, many in the political world have mixed reactions.
- Leaders react to Gov. Scott's campaign announcement
- RELATED: Gov. Scott on US Senate run: 'We need to shake up Washington'
Not surprising, Scott's Democratic challenger Bill Nelson was quick to respond to the governor's declaration.
"While it's clear that Rick Scott will say or do anything to get elected, I've always believed that if you just do the right thing, the politics will take care of itself," the incumbent said.
Gwen Graham, who is the Democratic candidate running in the hopes of taking over Scott's current position as governor, called him a "lap dog for Donald Trump's anti-Florida agenda" and stated that he has been absent for Florida.
"Rick Scott was absent from Florida's schools. Absent after Pulse. Absent when the nursing homes called," Graham said. "How can we ever expect Rick Scott to stand up to Donald Trump?" she stated in a news release.
Graham and Nelson were not the only Democrats blasting Scott. Florida Democratic Chair Terrie Rizzo released a statement, saying that for the last eight years the governor has put himself and his political interests first.
And Rizzo declared that Scott does not have a strong record to represent the Sunshine State.
"Here's his record: lost jobs, low wages and an economy that works for himself and his political donors, not to mention higher healthcare bills, a broken public education system and scandal after scandal. There is no limit to Rick Scott's dishonesty and Floridians don't trust him to look out for them in the Senate," stated Rizzo.
However, Scott's own party congratulated him and mentioned his leadership that Floridians will recognize.
"With this announcement, Scott adds his name to a Republican field of statewide candidates this midterm election that is boasting with incredibly qualified contenders. Floridians have seen, first hand, effective leadership from Scott and come November they will reward him by sending Senator Bill Nelson into retirement," stated Blaise Ingolgia, Republican Party of Florida chairman.
Florida mayors react to announcement
Mayors across Florida also reacted to Scott's announcement, praising Scott's opponent Senator Nelson and criticizing the governor's policy moves.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber highlighted Scott's "failed promises" as Florida's governor:
"We’ve seen and heard these same things from Rick Scott during his last two elections and Floridians know best - Rick Scott is nothing but a governor of failed promises. Every step of the way these last 7 years, he’s put himself ahead of Florida and put our communities put our communities, specifically those in South Florida at risk ... This election will be about priorities and Rick Scott has made it clear - it always has been and will be about himself - not the people of Florida."
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer reacted to the announcement in a statement that highlighted he said Nelson has accomplished for the people of Central Florida:
“Bill Nelson is a true friend to the people of Orlando, and has been there for us every step of the way. Most recently he was there for us following the Pulse tragedy, helping secure much needed funds to assist our grieving community and in the hours, days and weeks following the hurricane last fall, no one has helped us more with the urgent medical and housing needs of the hundreds of displaced families coming here from Puerto Rico. Bill Nelson has fought for the people of Orlando every single day, and we're lucky to have him serving us in the U.S. Senate.”
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn also drew praise for Nelson:
“I have known Bill Nelson for decades. Senator Nelson is a proven, trusted champion for Florida who always puts our interests first. He’s protected our shore and beaches, helped grow our economy, and in the Senate I know he’ll continue fighting for Tampa.”
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman emphasized what he calls Scott being "too busy looking out for himself":
“From draining Florida’s public school funding - driving our state to the bottom of the country in per-pupil funding - to refusing the high speed rail funding that would have improved transportation along the I-4 corridor, Rick Scott has done nothing but put himself ahead of what’s best for Floridians. I’m reminded every time talk with teachers and students and make that drive across the I-4 corridor, just what Rick Scott has not done for the people of Florida while he’s been too busy looking out for himself.”
CORRECTION: This article was changed Wednesday, April 11, 2018 to reflect a corrected statement provided by Mayor Buddy Dyer's office.