Gov. Rick Scott will challenge incumbent Sen.
The campaign according to Charles Zelden, a political scientist at Nova Southeastern University, likely will be one of the most closely watched races in the country and could help determine which party controls the Senate after the November 6 election.
Scott has never shied away from his friendship with Trump - who has repeatedly urged him to run against Nelson, Florida's only statewide elected Democrat.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.
Democratic political strategist Steve Schale predicted the race would be close and that Trump's popularity could play a role. "I've been very clear", Scott told POLITICO Sunday. The company was ultimately fined $1.7 billion for Medicare fraud - the largest fine of its kind at the time.
The Florida Senate battle will be a microcosm of domestic Republicans' struggle to maintain command of Congress under President Trump, whose demeanor and policies consumed invigorated Democratic voters.
We want to hear what you think of Rick Scott's time as Florida governor. "I don't consider myself any type of anything".
"We are encouraged that pro-life Governor Rick Scott has entered the Senate race in Florida", said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, a group that seeks to reduce and end abortion.
Scott also repeatedly attacked "career politicians" without naming his opponent, Nelson, who has served in the Senate since 2001. But in Florida, the third most expensive race that cycle after Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Rubio, who faced off against Patrick Murphy, had spent over $21 million, and Murphy had spent over $19 million.
Before the killings of 17 people at a Florida high school in February, Scott had an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. The governor, who has an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association, signed new laws raising the age to legally purchase a firearm to 21 and empowering law enforcement to confiscate guns from individuals determined to be risky.
"Not only did Bill Nelson vote against the GOP tax cuts responsible for bigger paychecks, new job opportunities and higher wages, but Floridians now must worry about Nelson repealing their new economic benefits", National Republican Senate Committee communications director Katie Martin said. Who's the best man to represent Florida in Washington?