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Former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell files to challenge Rick Scott for U.S. Senate seat


Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell officially filed for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, quickly attacking Republican Sen. Rick Scott, the incumbent, and his record on abortion.

The former South Florida Congresswoman is focusing on Florida’s reproductive rights landscape in her campaign.

“This November, we will have the opportunity to vote for our fundamental freedoms because an abortion ballot initiative will be on the ballot,” she said while standing in front of the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee. “Let me just say, it’s very clear to me that Floridians are ready to turn out this November to protect our rights and to retire Rick Scott, to stop him from this dangerous, extreme agenda.

Similar to the messaging from the Florida Democratic Party and the group behind the abortion rights amendment, Mucarsel-Powell insisted reproductive rights are a bipartisan issue.

“This is a Democratic, Republican, Independent, American issue,” she said. “It is about our civil rights. This is central to the dignity of a woman to make her private decision between herself, her doctor, her family and her faith. We cannot allow politicians like Rick Scott to interfere in those private decisions.”

Scott has expressed conflicting opinions on abortion, recently saying that he would have signed the six-week abortion ban, but later expressing support for a 15-week ban.

Just yesterday, President Joe Biden endorsed Mucarsel-Powell during his campaign stop in Tampa. She also delivered remarks during the event.

But when a reporter asked her on Wednesday if Biden’s campaign focus on Florida would boost her own, she said: “I’m not going to put my head on fire for any of that. The President was here yesterday. He is telling everyone Florida is in play.”

But Mucarsel-Powell is also facing a Democratic primary in August. So far, three Democrats have qualified for the election (Stanley Campbell, Joseph Rod and Brian Rush), according to the Florida Division of Elections. The deadline to file is Friday. She is the only woman Democratic candidate, and she is also Latina.

Campbell, who is Black, criticized the decision to have Mucarsel-Powell speak at Biden’s campaign stop, saying there were people of color in the crowd who saw that he had been ignored, according to The Floridian.

“People know the work that I’ve put in because I believe in it. For me, it’s been a calling to serve, and so I’m just moving forward to make sure that we kick Rick Scott out,” she said, responding to a question about Campbell’s criticism.

Additionally, polls show that Scott has a lead over Mucarsel-Powell. An April 18 poll from Florida Atlantic University and Mainstreet Research shows 51% of voters going for Scott and 35% supporting Mucarsel-Powell. Another recent poll from Emerson College Polling gives Scott a 7% advantage between the two.

Scott also has primary challenges from two Republicans who have qualified (John Columbus and Keith Gross).

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: info@floridaphoenix.com. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.


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  • Cat L

    I would be happy to see Rick Scott go. He removed 85% of the environmental protections in this state. Then his buddies gave him an award for it. Environmental systems have been suffering ever since, not to mention the over development.

    Friday, April 26 Report this

  • rayfusco68

    Rick Scott is a corporate criminal, his Columbia Healthcare received the largest Federal fine ever imposed on a healthcare corporation, he has proposed negative changes to social security and Medicare, please take notice that his political advertisements are nothing but pap, all of this is in addition to his disrespect for the personal rights of women. Any senior that would vote for him needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

    Friday, April 26 Report this

  • jimandlope

    Rick Scott, for lack of a better term, is a “zero”. When do we ever hear of something he has ever done as a US Senator? As Governor he gave up Medicaid rather tha than accept federal funding. He and Rubio (he who now lives Donald Trump) are robots who have oversized their welcome. We need fresh new blood such as Muscarel-Powell and someone who is aware of the real world. Jim Tierney

    Friday, April 26 Report this

  • san.gander

    Any Federal Government employee or retiree should note Scott completely disrespects the professional civil service employees and retirees. He along with other "cronie government" Repulicans want to end the neutrality of government employees and hire only political appointees without any proof of qualification needed other than "the right party". It would be backward to the "spoils" system of government jobs for friends and relatives if Scott and his ilk had his way.

    Friday, April 26 Report this

  • rjckeuka4

    A letter I wrote to our cowardly Senators on their impeachment vote. They should both go. Unfortunately, the voters didn't take out Rubio. It's a longshot, but perhaps they will eliminate Scott.

    Dear Senators Rubio & Scott,

    I want to offer my sympathy to each of you, on the wasteful use of your time, and the dollars of the federal government, expended on the defense of our Democracy last week. I’m sure it was trying and very boring to sit through the tedious, lengthy, but exceptionally well-prepared statements of the House Managers, and the concomitant drivel of Mr. trumps defense. But you persisted,…inattentive as you were, and as a loyal Republican of 64 years, I must tell you how disappointed and ashamed I was of your public statements,…and especially your vote to acquit. What an embarrassment!!! You disgraced yourselves and the oath you took, to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” How honorable! Are there really more important governmental issues to be addressed than “inciting an insurrection” to overthrow an election? Must be. So you just voted to throw our Democracy “out the window.”

    As you stood to register your vote of “guilty” or “not guilty”, I’m sure your chest was thrust forward with pride and dignity. One wonders whether your right hand was over your heart, or raised with a fist in a “Heil Hitler” salute like your colleague Hawley’s was on Jan. 6. As the history books are written to reflect your decisions on this momentous occasion, I know your children, grand children and great grand children will want to point with pride to their friends, of the poor judgement, lack of character and patriotism and the cowardice you displayed in this critical time in our history.

    Andrew Jackson once said, “one-man-with-courage-makes-a-majority.” That’s the kind of courage displayed by Senators Cassidy, Romney, et. al.,…while you cowered in the corner, as you have for five years, to a Fascist leader who would throw you under the bus in a NY second, as he did to many, that he himself appointed, including the most loyal of his followers, V.P. Pence. It’s hard to imagine how you can look yourself in the mirror each morning.

    We (you) send our troops all over the world to “protect and defend,”…us, our country and our Constitution. Do you want them to “turn tail” from an enemy, abandon a search for an Osama or wave a white flag? Absolutely not!!! And we as citizens of this great Country,…and those troops,…should not expect that of you! But you let us all down, through your cowardice and self-interest, with this vote to acquit. SHAMEFUL!!! DESPICABLE!!! TREASONOUS!!! AN EMBARRASSMENT TO YOUR OFFICE,…AND EVERY PATRIOT IN THIS GREAT NATION!!! DO THE COUNTRY A FAVOR. RESIGN!!!

    Richard J Correnti

    Friday, April 26 Report this

  • igobye3959

    In addition, be aware that Rick Scott AND Marco Rubio voted against aid to Ukraine. Why they don’t want to defend democracy around the world and those that are giving their lives to do so is beyond me. Both of these guys need to go!

    Saturday, April 27 Report this