Senator Bill Nelson’s reelection campaign has hit a dead end. The 26,000 Broward County undervotes, which Nelson’s attorney called a silver bullet, turned out to be a blank. Nelson only netted about 300 new votes in Broward. Most of the rest of those ballots had no selection in the Senate race, perhaps because of a poor ballot design.
Nelson suffered another setback Friday night when U.S. District Judge Mark Walker rejected a Democrat lawsuit seeking to count absentee ballots that were received after the legal cutoff date.
One thing is increasingly clear, Gov. Rick Scott’s 12,600 vote lead is enough to make him the next U.S. Senator from Florida.
That means for Sen. Nelson, it’s time to concede the election.
Nelson’s had a long honorable career of service to the State of Florida. Three terms in the U.S. Senate, Florida Insurance Commissioner, Congressman, State House of Representatives. Instead of hanging on until the bitter end, Nelson should be a statesman and graciously end his campaign.
It hurts to lose, especially a race this close. It’s difficult for any candidate to understand why, after a five-decade career in public service, a majority of the nearly 8.2 million Floridians who voted cast a ballot for the other guy. But this is the nature of politics. You live election to election.
Bill Nelson is the last of an generational era of Democrats, a party that once controlled Florida politics until the Republican surge in the late 80s and into the 90s. And while the tide may be shifting once again, it’ll happen with a new generation of Democratic leaders. For Nelson, it’s time to graciously acknowledge the will of the majority, however so slight, and call it a career.