- Former U.S. Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is challenging incumbent Sen. Rick Scott for his Senate seat.
- Mucarsel-Powell criticized Scott’s past legislative proposals, focusing on issues such as social security cuts and nationwide income tax hikes.
- Her campaign is centered around hot-button topics like Medicare expansion and gun control, with a commitment to protect Medicare, Social Security, and affordable healthcare.
Former U.S. Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell announced on Tuesday that she is challenging the incumbent Rick Scott for his seat in the Senate.
In a two-and-a-half-minute video announcing her entry to the race, Mucarsel-Powell attacked past legislative proposals brought forth by the former governor including social security cuts and implementing nationwide income tax hikes.
Contending that Scott “abuses the government” and “takes [our] rights,” Mucarsel-Powell framed her campaign around hot-button issues such as Medicare expansion and gun control in her announcement video.
“Florida is one of the least affordable states in the nation, but Senator Rick Scott wants to raise taxes on our families and end Social Security and Medicare coverage,” Murcasel-Powell’s campaign states. “As someone who takes care of her elderly mother, Debbie will always fight to protect Medicare, Social Security, and access to quality, affordable healthcare.”
Even before formally commencing her candidacy, Mucarsel-Powell received the backing of Democrat leaders as Politico reported last month that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and various Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee officials made attempts to persuade her to join the race.
In 2018, Mucarsel-Powell challenged Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida’s 26th congressional district, winning the Democratic primary with 63.5 percent of the vote. She secured victory in the November election, becoming the first Ecuadorian-born person elected to Congress and the district’s first female representative. However, her re-election bid in 2020 fell short, as she was defeated by Republican Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez.
“Serving in Congress, Debbie fought to expand opportunity for every American. Debbie wrote the bill to expand seniors’ Medicare Advantage coverage, and she worked with Republicans to provide economic relief to families and small businesses, and secured $200 million for Everglades restoration,” her campaign said.
Murcasel-Powell, who served in Washington from 2019 to 2021, was widely expected to join the race after Florida House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell announced on Monday that she is refraining from running for Scott’s seat. Instead, she has chosen to run for re-election in the Florida House.
Driskell was considering the possibility of challenging the incumbent U.S. Senator Rick Scott, who is highly favored to win another term, however, she pointed to ongoing legislative responsibilities in Florida as the reason behind her choice.
“After giving it a lot of thought, I have realized that my work in the Florida House is not done yet,” she said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. And when DeSantis loses the GOP primary and returns his attention to focus where he can do more damage, we need to be ready. As Minority Leader, I will continue to lead in this fight.”
Mucarsel-Powell joins former Congressional candidate Phil Ehr in the Democratic field, who in July announced his campaign. Last month, former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson filed paperwork to join the Senate race but has yet to formally announce a campaign.
Following Mucarsel-Powell’s announcement, Commissioner of Agriculture and former Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson gave a statement in support of Scortt’s re-election campaign, referring to the incumbent as a “once-in-a-lifetime leader.”
“[Rick Scott’s] commitment to economic prosperity, personal freedom and fiscal responsibility here at home and in our nation’s Capitol puts him in a league of his own as a once-in-a-generation kind of leader,” said Simpson. “We deserve a voice in Washington who will continue to fight for us.
Scott, a two-term Florida governor, narrowly defeated Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson in the 2018 Senate election, garnering approximately 10,000 more votes than the former astronaut and marked the first time since the Reconstruction era that Republicans held both Senate seats in Florida.