Gov. Rick Scott moves on to face Bill Nelson for Senate seat

2-term Republican governor wins Republican nomination

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor
Associated Press

Gov. Rick Scott (right) will challenge U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., (left) for his seat.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Rick Scott is one step closer to Washington.

Florida's governor won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Tuesday's primary election, beating out Roque De La Fuente for the right to take on longtime U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in November.

Scott's victory was a foregone conclusion in a race against a perennial candidate who has hopscotched parties and races in multiple states. De La Fuente ran as a Democrat during the 2016 presidential primaries and appeared on the Democratic ballot for Senate that same year.

"Thanks to everyone who voted to make the Republican nominee for US Senate!" Scott told supporters Tuesday night on Twitter. "Together, we will Make Washington Work."

President Donald Trump congratulated Scott on his "conclusive" win.

"He will be a great Senator!" Trump said in a tweet.

Scott is a two-term governor who beat out then-Attorney General Bill McCollum in the 2010 primary and narrowly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in the general election.

Nelson has served in Washington since he was elected to the U.S. House in 1978. After a failed bid for governor in 1990, Nelson served as state treasurer before returning to Washington as a member of the U.S. Senate in 2000. 

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