Florida’s governor is about to set up a blockbuster race to flip a Florida Senate seat red

Rick Scott.

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Rick Scott.
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott teased a potential Senate campaign announcement for next month.
  • President Donald Trump has pushed Scott to enter the race before, challenging Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott teased the announcement of his highly anticipated Senate campaign to challenge Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson on Monday.

Scott, a Republican, set a date for a “big announcement” on April 9, just one month before the filing deadline for primary candidates in the sunshine state.

Scott has been rumored to be mulling a Senate run for quite some time as his tenure as governor comes to a close due to term limits. He is very close to President Donald Trump, who has frequently urged him to challenge Nelson in 2018.

“I hope this man right here, Rick Scott, runs for the Senate,” Trump said in September while touring the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Florida.

Polling is in Scott’s favor as well. A February Morning Consult/Politico poll found that Scott’s approval ratings have been on a significant upswing. That contrasts with Nelson, who a similar poll found to have very little name recognition in Florida, despite having served in the Senate for almost two decades.

Florida is one of the primary target seats Republicans hope to flip in 2018. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has been digging at Nelson for quite some time. On Monday, the NRSC unveiled a series of ads against Democratic candidates running for reelection in states Trump won in 2016, with Florida among them.

The NRSC’s 45-second spot went after Nelson for having supported Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.