WASHINGTON — Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) took to the Senate floor Monday to convey a message of hope in his first public appearance since he conceded the Florida Senate race to Republican challenger Gov. Rick Scott.

  • Nelson to give numerous speeches over next couple of weeks
  • He said he won't give up fight for progress
  • Nelson has not yet revealed plans after he leaves Washington

The three-term incumbent senator said he’ll be giving a number of speeches over the course of the next couple of weeks.

The senator took to the floor, explaining that you are not seeing the last of him just yet. He intends to give several speeches over the course of the next couple of weeks.

“I want to say that with regard to the election, well, things turned out a little differently than Grace and I had expected,” he said with emotion.

As the recount was underway, the senator’s aides projected an image of strength and optimism.

Nelson, who has become a fixture in Florida politics, took this opportunity to thank his volunteers and supporters, acknowledging that his opponent’s vast personal resources may have made a major difference in this race.

“You knocked on doors, you walked the precincts, you made the phone calls, you contributed your time and your resources and with an optimistic heart, I wish to say something else, we may have been heavily outspent, but we were never outworked,” Nelson said.

Although the senator will no longer represent Florida in Washington, he said he’ll never give up this fight for progress for issues including healthcare, the environment, and civil rights.

He also encouraged his colleagues to seek common ground with those on the other side of the aisle.

“We will retreat from the tribalism that has captured American politics, where men and women of goodwill can come together, as the good book says: ‘Come, let us reason together,’” Nelson said.

The big question is -- what’s next for the senator after he leaves Washington in January 2019? The senator has yet to unveil those detail.