U.S. Senator Bill Nelson appears to have had an about-face involving a Florida judge who has been nominated for a U.S. District judge position in north Florida. Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign calls it another example of Nelson playing partisan politics and following the lead of Senate Democratic leaders.
“Because of the information brought up by the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will vote against the confirmation of Allen Winsor,” Nelson said in a statement. The committee narrowly approved Winsor’s nomination along partisan lines.
Winsor is currently a Florida appeals court judge. He was nominated by President Donald Trump to succeed current U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee. Nelson interviewed Winsor before he and Sen. Rubio recommended Winsor to the White House.
According to the Associated Press, Senate Democrats oppose Winsor because of his work while serving as solicitor general in Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office.
Senate Democrats based their opposition to Winsor because of his record working for Attorney General Pam Bondi. Winsor argued in a legal brief that recognizing same sex marriages from other states would “impose significant public harm.”
The announcement by Nelson that he would now oppose Winsor’s nomination brought an immediate response by the Scott campaign.
“Bill Nelson is so partisan that a small group of out-of-state democrats can force him to vote against a Floridian that he interviewed, recommended and supported,” said Lauren Schenone, press secretary for the Scott campaign. “Despite claiming to be independent, Bill Nelson’s own actions show that when democrats like party boss Chuck Schumer say ‘jump,’ Nelson’s only question is ‘how high?’”
Making Nelson out to be a career politician who votes along party lines has been one of the strategies used by the Scott campaign in its effort to defeat Nelson in November. Nelson’s announcement that he’ll vote against Winsor’s nomination appears to play right into that strategy.
“Bill Nelson is so committed to partisan politics that he can’t even stand behind his own position,” Schenone said.