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Scott Rallies Support For Senate Run In Jacksonville

Ryan Benk
Gov. Rick Scott greets Jacksonville City Councilmen Doyle Carter and Matt Schellenberg in Jacksonville Wednesday.

Florida Governor Rick Scott visited Jacksonville Wednesday for the first time since announcing his run for U.S. Senate.

The Northeast Florida pit stop followed the filing of a complaint accusing him of skirting campaign-finance law.

Scott told supporters at Ring Electric — a corporate donor — that he would get to Washington the same way he got to Tallahassee: As an outsider.

“This is an exciting race. I’m going to work my butt off to make sure I’m the next senator from Florida and when we win, we’re going to make sure that we represent this state,” he said.

The two-term governor’s first policy proposal is a call for term limits on Congress. Scott said it could help solve the spirit of gridlock and acrimony that’s been part of the legislative process in recent years.

“We’ve got to change the direction of Washington,” he said.

He said he’d have details on other “concrete” policy proposals soon.

Less than a day after he officially announced his run, a Federal Elections Complaint filed by a left-leaning group alleged Scott used a pro-Donald Trump political committee he chaired as a front to accept donations for his Senate run before he declared.

Scott addressed the accusation in Jacksonville.

“As you know, I’m only responsible for … I can only work on the campaign account. You’ll have to reach out to people at New Republican. We’re very transparent in what we do,” he said.

Scott steered the New Republican PAC, which was supposed to help support the president’s 2016 campaign. Since announcing his run, Scott relinquished control and the committee is now supporting his efforts to unseat incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

Ryan Benk can be reached at, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at @RyanMichaelBenk.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.