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Statement from State and Local Leaders on Rick Scott’s Announcement

Statement from State and Local Leaders on Rick Scott’s Announcement


The following leaders from throughout Florida released statements on Monday in response to Rick Scott’s announcement (with all the statements released today including mayors, a congressman, state lawmakers and other leaders at the bottom of this email):


State Rep. Lori Berman

“Rick Scott has failed the people of this state and the people of my district. He gutted public education, kept 800,000 people from health care while increasing health care costs for others, refused to discuss equal pay for women, and vetoed a bill that would have given those in Palm Beach County a voice in creating affordable housing. The people of Florida do not need six years of a senator who only looks out for himself and who will say and do anything to push his own agenda – not our working families and definitely not for our school children.”


Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch

“Floridians will have a clear choice this November: Bill Nelson, a leader who has always put the interests of Florida first or Rick Scott, a governor who consistently fails to represent the best interests of all Floridians. It’s a telling fact that one of Scott’s first actions as governor was to restrict voting rights for hundreds of thousands of Floridians. From voting rights to health care, Rick Scott has failed the test of leadership, leaving behind some of the most vulnerable Floridians. Bill Nelson has been a champion for Florida in Washington, leading efforts to keep oil rigs off our coasts, protect Medicare and Social Security, and protect our precious right to vote.”


Former Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho

“In looking out for himself, Rick Scott has done everything in his power to restrict access to voting for Floridians across the state. From limiting voting days to illegally purging voter rolls to refusing to extend voter registration when hurricanes hit the state to taking the right to vote away from over one million Floridians, Scott has only made it more difficult, created more obstacles for the people of Florida to cast their vote. It’s a blatant example of how Scott only cares about advancing his own interests, and Floridians deserve better.”


Greenacres Mayor Joel Flores

“The reality of Rick Scott’s Florida is too many Floridians, too many communities have been left behind. Promises of job creation are nothing but broken promises and communities across the state experience the devastation of Scott’s cuts to education, affordable housing and programs that help our local economies grow. The only person  doing better under Rick Scott is Rick Scott — and Florida deserves to have someone in Washington who will always put their interests first. That’s not Scott.”


Former American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Director Joy Friedman, Fort Myers

“The reality is this – as governor Rick Scott has only been looking out for himself. He’s gutted public education funding, supported drilling off our coasts and refused to expand Medicaid to over 800,000 Floridians. Rick Scott has always put himself first and if elected to the U.S. Senate, would do the exact same. Floridians deserve better.”


Lisa Barnes Tapscott of Panama City

“Across the board, Rick Scott has been bad for Florida. From driving per-pupil public education funding to the bottom of the nation to refusing to expand Medicaid, Rick Scott has proven he’ll always put himself first, at the expense of Floridians. Under Rick Scott, too many counties, especially our rural counties, have been left behind. Floridians will have a clear choice in November – a leader in Bill Nelson always puts Florida first or a Rick Scott who has shown over and over again what he’ll do to protect himself.”


Earlier today, the Florida Democratic Party released the following statements:


Pulse Survivor and No NRA Money advocate Brandon Wolf released this op-ed.


Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo

“For eight years, Rick Scott has put himself and his political interests above the people he serves, and in the Senate he would do the same thing. Here’s his record: lost jobs, low wages and an economy that works for himself and his political donors, not to mention higher healthcare bills, a broken public education system and scandal after scandal. There is no limit to Rick Scott’s dishonesty and Floridians don’t trust him to look out for them in the Senate. Floridians deserve better than Rick Scott.”


Sen. Oscar Braynon II

“Since the minute he was elected governor, Rick Scott has done nothing but look out for himself. One of his first actions as governor was rolling back the progress Florida had made in restoring voting rights for so many Floridians. Whether Scott is  creating new obstacles to make it harder to vote, signing legislation that does little to make our schools and communities safer by encouraging schools to arm personnel or flipping on this promise to expand Medicaid, Rick Scott proves over and over he’s only in this for himself.”


St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman

“From cutting Florida’s public school funding – driving our state to the bottom of the country in per-pupil funding – to refusing the high speed rail funding that would have improved transportation and spurred economic development along the I-4 corridor, Rick Scott has done nothing but put himself ahead of what’s best for Floridians. I’m reminded every time I talk with teachers and students or make that drive across the I-4 corridor, just how Rick Scott has looked out for his political future rather than the people of Florida.”


State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

“Rick Scott has repeatedly broken promises, turned his back on the people of this state, and conveniently changed positions on issues to advance his own self-serving politics. But there is no more disturbing example of Rick Scott’s failed, cold and calculating leadership than him doing nothing for 612 days between Pulse and Parkland to stop gun violence or increase mental health care despite the tragic loss of 49 people in my community. Rick Scott made promises after Pulse and be broke every single one – not enacting protections for LGBTQ workers while actually cutting mental health care and not enacting a single law to protect citizens of this state. A man who is willing to say or do anything to get elected and who cannot keep his word, even after a mass shooting, has no place in the U.S. Senate.”


State Sen. Audrey Gibson

“Rick Scott cannot erase seven years of leaving behind my constituents and others throughout this state and now try to take his same show to Washington. His jobs incentive programs have not provided real jobs to the average Floridian because he counts failed potential job creation as a Florida job. A real job not an alternative fact. His latest slush fund scheme of doling out money has fallen short of long-term job creation with little to no reach deep into communities where unemployment and community development remains an issue.

Rick Scott backtracked on his promise and refused to expand Medicaid, hurting millions of Floridians and financially strapping the hospitals who take care of them in emergency rooms at a much higher cost. But what does he care he made his money in a hospital scam and refused to testify about the details.

Scott has refused to consider raising wages so that families can survive in a very service industry state and supported policies that grossly undermine public education including cutting education funding and touting a .47 cent increase in base student allocation as an historic increase.

And lest we forget Scott hid from responsibility for the lives of seniors lost in South Florida and the over a year of not providing information to FEMA to collect millions in Hurricane Matthew funds even after Hurricane Irma hit. Floridians cannot afford Rick Scott anymore, our families and our quality of life deserves better.”


Congressman Ted Deutch

“It was 612 days between Pulse and Parkland and Rick Scott did nothing to address gun violence. Time after time when tragedy strikes in Florida, Scott points fingers instead of addressing the real issues. Scott has shown that he will do or say anything to get elected – and his candidacy for US Senate is no different. Floridians can’t trust Scott to look out for anyone but himself – and they can’t afford another 6 years of his leadership.” 


Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber

“Floridians will have the benefit of a clear-eyed view of a truly dismal record. Under Rick Scott, our children remain in schools floundering from neglect where underpaid teachers are forced to reach into their pockets to provide basic necessities for their students. Floridians are finding their wages too low and costs too high because unless you have a high paid lobbyist, the Governor’s office ignores you. And when working people had the chance to actually receive health insurance, Scott turned his back on them in order to prove his allegiance to the extremist right wing of his party. Floridians won’t forget the damage Rick Scott’s self-serving politics have done these last 7 years, no matter how he tries to change his spots and obscure his record.”


Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

“Bill Nelson is a true friend to the people of Orlando, and has been there for us every step of the way. Most recently he was there for us following the Pulse tragedy,helping secure much needed funds to assist our grieving community and in the hours, days and weeks following the hurricane last fall, no one has helped us more with the urgent medical and housing needs of the hundreds of displaced families coming here from Puerto Rico. Bill Nelson has fought for the people of Orlando every single day, and we’re lucky to have him serving us in the U.S. Senate.”


Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn

“I have known Bill Nelson for decades. Senator Nelson is a proven, trusted champion for Florida who always puts our interests first. He’s protected our shore and beaches, helped grow our economy, and in the Senate I know he’ll continue fighting for Tampa.”

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