As Republican presidential candidates hit the debate stage this week, Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell announced that she’s jumping into the Florida Senate race. Mucarsel-Powell, a former U.S. Representative for Florida’s 26th congressional district, aims to unseat incumbent junior Senator Rick Scott, who was the Governor of Florida from 2011 to 2019.
My name is Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. I'm an immigrant, a Latina, and a mother.— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) August 22, 2023
I'm not afraid to take on anyone who doesn't put Florida first. That means you, Rick Scott. That's why I'm running for U.S. Senate.
Join our campaign at https://t.co/SEjNvvtjF7. pic.twitter.com/Au5T6W6dPe
When Scott’s colleague, senior Florida Senator Marco Rubio (and former 2016 Republican presidential candidate) read the news, he responded by writing on X (formerly Twitter):
“Every $ Dems waste in #Florida on an unelectable, ultra-liberal, one term congresswoman voted out of office just 3 years ago is a $ they won’t have for races that are actually competitive Love it!” He added two smiling face with smiling eyes and rosy cheeks emojis.
Every $ Dems waste in #Florida on an unelectable, ultra-liberal, one term congresswoman voted out of office just 3 years ago is a $ they won’t have for races that are actually competitive— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 22, 2023
Love it! 😊 😊 https://t.co/hqwyeAS11o
In 2020, Mucarsel-Powell, who voted to impeach President Donald Trump in 2019, lost her House seat to the Republican challenger, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez.
Scott is also being challenged by fellow Republican Keith Gross, a former Assistant State Attorney in Florida’s 18th circuit court. In his campaign launch video (below), Gross says, “I believe in freedom, the Florida way” — language used by the current Governor Ron DeSantis (and GOP presidential candidate), who is described in Florida politics as “a frequent intraparty rival of Scott.”
The other GOP candidate challenging Scott is Patricia Krentcil, also known as “Tan Mom.” The former New Jersey resident, who went viral in 2012 for taking her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning salon, is now a resident of Boca Raton and is promoting her TV-docuseries Tan to 10, on which she reveals her decision to get an extreme makeover with the help of drag queens and a famous plastic surgeon (“Dr. Miami”).