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Rick Scott Is Making His Final Pitch To Tampa Voters In U.S. Senate Race

Roberto Roldan
WUSF Public Media
Governor Rick Scott, who is campaigning to replace U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, addressed his supporters Thursday alongside his wife Ann (left) and Attorney General Pam Bondi (right).

Governor Rick Scott is sweeping through Tampa this week, making a final appeal to voters ahead of next Tuesday's midterm election.

His first stop was a mid-day rally at the Peppin's Hospitality Centre on Thursday. There Scott took aim at his opponent, Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, painting him as an absentee representative who was bad for Floridians. The language mirrored the television ads and flyers that Scott has spent more than $63 million of his own money to distribute.

He also laid out his familiar plan to voters: keep taxes low, create jobs and fix Washington dysfunction through term limits. Scott also

"These elections matter," he told the audience of a few dozen supporters. "If you go out and elect somebody that believes in higher taxes, you'll get 'em....They're going to take your money, and they're going to figure out how to spend your money. They'll figure it out. So you have to vote for someone who believes in limited government, less taxes."

The specter of a migrant caravan approaching the U.S.-Mexico border has dominated headlines in recent days, and Scott was quick to point out the differences he and Nelson have on immigration policy. He said Nelson, who has voted for increased funding for U.S. border security while in the Senate, is too soft on the issue for the current situation.

"He believes we ought to have a catch and release program: You come across the border, you are immediately released," Scott said. "We have a caravan coming here right now. Shouldn't we vet who comes to our country?”

Scott refused to answer multiple question about whether or not President Donald Trump's decision to send 15,000 troops to the border was necessary. Instead, Scott said only that he supports securing the border and setting up a "good process" for legal immigration. Scott and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis both appeared beside Trump at a rally in Fort Meyers Wednesday night.

Scott will continue his campaigning in Tampa with a rally at The Columbia in Ybor City on Friday morning at 9 a.m.

Bill Nelson, meanwhile, was also in Tampa on Thursday. He met with a small group of business owners and red tide experts, and criticized Scott's record on the environment.


Roberto Roldan is a senior at the University of South Florida pursuing a degree in mass communications and a minor in international studies.
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