Rick Scott’s New Challenger Comes Out Swinging In Campaign Push

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In an interview recently conducted on MSNBC, former Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell starkly condemned the state’s GOP Sen. Rick Scott as she seeks the Democratic nomination to challenge Scott in next year’s general election.

Mucarsel-Powell is the most prominent name in the Democratic primary contest so far, which also includes Phil Ehr, a veteran who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) for the latter’s northern Florida Congressional seat. In the MSNBC discussion, a portion of which Mucarsel-Powell highlighted on X (formerly Twitter), the former Congresswoman cast the unfolding campaign as connected to whether democracy in the U.S. would continue. Notably, Scott was, in fact, among the Republicans in the Senate who voted against the full certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, despite the lack of any meaningful evidence for any systematic problem underlying the race results.

“Our democracy is at stake,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “Rick Scott is a fraud. Florida families know that. He’s someone that is trying to raise taxes on middle class families. He wrote the plan to pretty much end Medicare and Social Security. And he has become such an extremist, supporting the most extreme abortion ban here in our state. And as a mother of two daughters, I will not stand for that.”

The former Congresswoman is referring in part to a past plan from Scott that some worried would, as it was written, leave Medicare and Social Security under requirements for routine reapproval by Congress. Shifting political winds in the House and Senate could easily sink the critical benefit programs in such a scenario, though Scott has since redone his approach, claiming to exclude those programs in the future that he imagines. He also previously pushed to expand the pool of those paying some income taxes, though many of those who don’t pay such taxes aren’t just getting a free ride. Rather, the group includes poor individuals.