- Phil Ehr, a former U.S. Navy Commander and Congressional candidate, has announced his campaign to challenge Sen. Rick Scott for his Senate seat.
- Ehr released a campaign launch advertisement on Monday morning, where he attacks Scott over his past voting record, particularly his attempt to cut funding for Medicare and Social Security.
- Former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson has also filed paperwork to enter the race but has yet to make a formal announcement.
Former U.S. Navy Commander and Congressional candidate Phil Ehr on Monday announced his campaign to challenge Sen. Rick Scott’s seat in Washington.
Ehr, who unsuccessfully ran against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz in 2020, released a launch advertisement in the early hours of the morning that saw him attack Scott’s policy proposals, including an attempt to slash Medicare and Social Security funding.
Citing his military service, Ehr’s campaign asserts that his experience in combat, reconnaissance missions, and delivering humanitarian aid is the “experience the US Senate needs to solve our most urgent problems.”
“I’ve spent my life on the front lines fighting for American values and protecting our nation against extremism, and I’m running for Senate against Rick Scott to fulfill that same mission,” said Ehr in a prepared statement. “Extreme politicians like Rick Scott only care about themselves and their ultra-rich donors and friends, not middle-class Floridians, which is why Scott tried to destroy bedrock programs like Social Security and Medicare that millions of Floridians rely on.”
The ad also features U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Gaetz through intermittent flashing appearances, with Ehr referring to the group as an “axis of lies.”
“For eight years, politicians like Rick Scott, DeSantis, Gaetz, and Rubio have stood by Trump’s war on the truth,” said Ehr. “So once again, duty calls.”
Ehr further presents a contrast between himself and DeSantis, who has presented obfuscated stances on the war in Ukraine. In March, the governor caught flack after he told Piers Morgan during a Fox News interview that Russia’s invasion amounts to a “territorial dispute.”
In the launch video, Ehr highlighted the series of humanitarian aid missions he completed in Ukraine, which included the deliverance of food, medicine, surgical equipment, and medical supplies.
“Phil believes that Ukraine’s survival, independence, and prosperity as a democracy is in America’s national interest,” his campaign states.
Ehr’s entrance comes at a point of uncertainty within the national Democratic Party, as organizational leaders have struggled to recruit candidates for Scott’s Senate seat. Politico‘s Gary Fineout reported earlier this month that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee officials attempted to draw former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell into the race. As of this writing, Mucarsel-Powell has not made a public indication of her intention to run. An attempt to contact her office went unanswered.
Last month, former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson filed paperwork to join the Senate race but has yet to formally announce a campaign.
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.