Bill Nelson can’t out-governor Rick Scott when it comes to being front and center during hurricane recovery. That’s just not the role of a United States Senator. So with 19 days before voting ends, Senator Nelson is looking to move on. And with good reason. The first public poll taken since Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle shows Scott leading Nelson by two points, 49 to 47 percent. The survey taken by St. Pete Polls also shows Scott leading by 3 points over people who have already cast their ballots. 

That explains why Nelson has left the hurricane’s impact areas and resumed campaigning, including the release of a new campaign ad accusing Scott of “stuffing his pockets” as governor.

The ad rehashes Scott’s time as CEO of health care company Columbia/HCA and the company’s fine for Medicare fraud. That’s a fact known to voters during Scott’s two campaigns for governor. It also accuses Scott of profiting while Governor. Coincidentally the new TV ad was released the same day a New York Times article looked at Scott’s finances and the blind trust he uses to shield himself from his personal assets. The Times called Scott’s financial shield a trust in name only. 

Nelson is also complaining that Scott has removed himself from the campaign trail while he  focuses on leading the state’s hurricane recovery. 

Scott got bipartisan praise for his efforts Tuesday from Democrat Congressman Al Lawson. 


While Congressman Lawson most likely faced political blowback for those comments, it shows how adeptly Scott handled this hurricane recovery.

With two and a half weeks before the November election, voters will have to rely on campaign ads to determine who to vote for in the Senate race. The two were supposed to face-off in a CNN debate last week, but that was postponed because of the hurricane. 

The two then couldn’t agree on a date to reschedule the debate. Scott accepted an October 25 debate. Nelson declined that date and insisted on October 22. Because the two sides were three days a part with no resolution in site, CNN pulled the plug. Posting on social media a CNN spokesman said, “Regrettably, Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott are unable to agree on a new date to hold the U.S. Senate debate originally scheduled to air Tuesday, Oct 16. Therefore, the CNN Florida Senate debate has been canceled.”


 Naturally both sides blame each other for the debate’s cancelation but the real losers are Florida voters who are deprived of seeing Sen. Nelson and Gov. Scott debate the issues just one time this election cycle. 

David Bishop is a native Floridian, husband and father. During his 30 year career, David has been a journalist, political operative and communications consultant.