Bill Nelson Staying Out Helps Rick Scott, Charlie Crist and Nan Rich

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: September 27, 2013 3:55 AM

Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson turns 71 on Sunday and it’s increasingly appearing that the lone Democrat holding statewide office in Florida would prefer to stay in Washington instead of Tallahassee.

Nelson has been mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate but he has done little to show that he is interested in taking on Rick Scott, besides not fully ruling out making a bid. Republicans generally dreaded the possibility. In his more than 40 years in Florida politics, Nelson is a proven winner who has successfully resisted Florida’s Republican trend in statewide elections.

Buzz about Nelson challenging Scott has faded in recent weeks as Alex Sink had her moment in the limelight as she pondered, and eventually decided against, making a second gubernatorial bid. Now Nelson appears to be closing the door to running against Scott.

Earlier this week, Nelson’s Senate campaign sent an email from Grace Nelson, the senator’s wife, asking for supporters to contribute at the end of the third quarter for fundraising. Grace Nelson praised her husband’s commitment to “serve the people of Florida in the United States Senate” and called him a “measured, moderate voice" during a period “when our country is facing many challenges at home and abroad, with petty partisan attacks filling the airwaves and our mailboxes.”

Grace Nelson also called for supporters to open up their wallets for the senator and “contribute to his re-election campaign.” Having easily dispatched Connie Mack in 2012, Nelson won’t face voters again until 2018. Funds raised for federal campaigns can’t be moved over to state ones. It’s hard to imagine Nelson would be raising funds for a Senate race which is more than five years out if he plans to run for governor next year.

With Sink out altogether and Nelson continuing to show no interest, the two main contenders for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination will be Charlie Crist and Nan Rich. Crist is the man to beat, especially with Sink and Nelson out. Having spent years running for office as a conservative Republican, Crist would have been blown out by Nelson in the primary. But he is not the only Democrat who should be happy about Nelson’s decision to stay out. Rich should see some benefits by being the liberal alternative to Crist, but she hasn’t made much progress in the race despite entering last April.

Scott is also a winner with Nelson staying out. Of all the Democratic possibilities, Nelson offered Scott the most problems. As things stand, Scott’s still an underdog against Crist but his chances against the former Republican are much better than they would have been against Nelson.


Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis piece exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (10)

Richard Paul Dembinsky
1:01AM OCT 13TH 2013
Honorable Governor Rick Scott would more likely enjoy a debate with Charlie Crist than trying to explain to Richard Paul Dembinsky why he continues to allow representative of the Division of Elections from placing only Republican candidates or incumbents at the top of all state wide ballots. Florida Constitution states: "guarantee equal civil and political rights for all" I am hoping by June 1, 2014 to convince either Charlie Crist NOT to run as a democrat or Nan Rich to waste her campaign money. This is about making Florida Election laws fair; the democratic party in my opinion is promoting candidates prior to a primary and for this reason Honorable Governor Rick Scott should demand that the Division of Elections withhold "party assessment fees paid by other challenging democratic candidates until the primary election has been conducted fairly"

Charlie Crist is getting too much attention; Honorable Governor Rick Scott may have been a democrat longer.

We need to be thankful that sooner or later the total government in Washington and Tallahassee will be replaced with people who care about the people. The continuing fear being put into people by both the democratic and republican parties needs to stop immediately.

I hereby set November 14, 2013 as the deadline for total resolution of the debt ceiling approval that will cause pain on senior citizens by the fear of not receiving a social security payment.

I will be on my way to Washington on November 14, 2013 should my mother in Pennsylvania not receive her earned social security check. NO 90 year old mother should have to put up with government "leaders" as we currently have. Please this time look at the issues and YOU decide if the money paid into the social security system is real or a tax without representation.

Enough is Enough in Washington D.C.

Enough people will select the best republican or democratic or independent gubernatorial candidate on November 4, 2014.

So Bill Nelson is part of the problem too; Charlie Crist and Honorable Rick Scott are to close to the past......we need new leaders in both parties....this is no longer funny.

Sandy Adams and other Honorable Republicans better observe the November 14th, 2013 deadline to fix and I mean fix the debt ceiling problem.

There are enough social security citizens to cover the roads and streets of Washington, D.C. in one hour should the Federal or State government continue to act unfairly on social security payments.

One hour and the better be out of Washington should the debt ceiling and the continuing giving money to foreign governments rather than paying senior citizens and military staff.

Enough is Enough .....Bill Nelson at age 71 is no longer working for Florida citizens.
6:59PM SEP 27TH 2013
My, My . . . . can't you get your partisan journalism straight . . . . today's it's "Republicans generally dreaded the possibility" . . . was it only a few months ago that you were touting how Charlie Crist was even beating Nelson in polls and implying he really didn't have as good a chance (and SSN was attacking Nelson's possible run) . . . . . I guess your journalistic spin varies as to how likely he is to run . . . . demonize those who might run . . . back off and backhandedly praise those who aren't . . . .

Pathetic . . .
Liberal HATER
9:17AM SEP 30TH 2013
In another time, people like this would have been hunted down, tar'ed and feathered and run out of town.
6:17PM JAN 24TH 2014
Ah, yes . . . another certifiably sane far right Republican . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Richard Paul Dembinsky
5:28PM SEP 27TH 2013
This is from Near Space rather than Outer Space; Florida needs a common caring governor; if Honorable Governor Rick Scott, could simply review the various statements this past week especially the blaming Obama for the condition of the L.O. well, then he would have an easy time with re election, however, Rick Scott is starting to sound like Nan Rich blame the Republicans (or Democrats) for everything.

Governor Scott YOU have been reading too much from Nan Rich and have known Charlie Crist too long; surely YOU can become a common caring Governor by November 2014.

Bill Nelson has been a favorite for Washington, but the last time he was really connected to Central Florida's problems was just before lift off from the Cape.

We need a better Democratic candidate for Governor; please someone run for Governor as a Democrat because I don't like the current choices.

Incumbents do not apply or we will stick with Honorable Rick Scott; we need new ideas without the typical blame the Republicans.


Oh, everyone can write a book including minor candidate for Chief Financial Officer, but that does not mean anyone will read it before November 2014.

Uncensored Social Currency by A.O.K.
1:24PM SEP 27TH 2013
He would be better than double tax Red light camera charlie
8:08AM SEP 27TH 2013
The voters are, as a group, uneducated and stupid. Why else would they elect people over and over that do nothing but raise taxes and grow government. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are perfect examples of re-elected socialists that are extremel bad for America.

I fear we are all doomed by our own doings.
6:34PM SEP 27TH 2013
how's that smaller government flood insurance program working for you.
Seems a bunch of republican developers and real estate agents liked big government better. oh but it's their pocket book gettin hit this time. lol
8:06AM SEP 27TH 2013
Career politician doing what is right for him, not the country....

7:01PM SEP 27TH 2013
Another pseudo SSN fanclub want-to-be trying their pathetic hand at imitation (can Eric be far behind?) . . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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