Former Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell launched a bid Tuesday to challenge Republican Sen. Rick Scott in 2024, according to an announcement video.
Mucarsel-Powell previously represented Florida’s 26th District before being ousted by Republican Rep. Carlos Gimenez in 2020, according to Ballotpedia.
The Democratic candidate slammed Scott for his pro-life stances, tax policy and entitlement reform in the campaign launch video and pledged to fight for expanded medicare, promote gun control and provide opportunity for others.
“I’m an immigrant, a Latina, a mother, and we made history together when I became the first South American immigrant ever elected to Congress. I’ve already fought guys like Rick Scott, and beat them,” Mucarsel-Powell said in the video. “I’m not afraid to take on Rick Scott or anyone else that doesn’t put Florida first.”
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Numerous members of the Democratic congressional delegation and aligned outside groups had been encouraging Mucarsel-Powell to challenge Scott, citing her strong fundraising abilities and minority background.
Prior to losing to Gimenez by 3.4 points, Mucarsel-Powell narrowly secured the congressional seat 50.9% to 49.1% where she served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. She previously lost an election to the state Senate in 2016 by approximately 8.5 points.
Scott was narrowly elected to both of his governorships in 2010 and 2014 by roughly 1 point, according to Ballotpedia. The former governor won his first term in the Senate in 2018, narrowly beating the Democratic opponent 50.1% to 49.9%.
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Republican businessman Keith Gross is also running against Scott in the 2024 GOP primary.
“I know how great this country is, and how great it can be, and that’s why I won’t sit here and do nothing while Rick Scott gets rich abusing our government, taking our rights, raising our costs and destroying what makes it great,” Mucarsel-Powell said in the video.
Following the announcement the Florida GOP released a statement saying, “The Florida Democrat Party’s desperation is glaringly apparent as they push Debbie Murcasel-Powell, a one-term reject, into the spotlight. With Debbie joining the ranks, the Democrats now boast three failed congressional candidates. Their pleas for her to run underscore the party’s embarrassing decline.”
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