Debbie Mucarsel-Powell Announces Run for US Senate Against Rick Scott

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By Giselle Balido

August 22, 2023

The former congresswoman is viewed by many Florida Democrats as their best chance to defeat incumbent Sen. Rick Scott. And although she recognizes that she faces a steep climb in a red-leaning state, the former Democratic representative is convinced that the fight is winnable.

Former Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell on Tuesday announced her bid to challenge Republican Sen. Rick Scott in Florida.

Mucarsel-Powell, who received encouragement from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in Washington as well as Democrats across the Sunshine State, is viewed by many Florida Democrats as their best chance to defeat Scott and help retain control of the US Senate.

Let’s gooo @DebbieforFL!,” Florida Democratic State Rep Anna V. Eskamani tweeted early Tuesday morning after Muscarel-Powell announced her candidacy.

An Experienced Fighter

Elected to Florida’s 26th Congressional District in 2018, where she served from 2019 through 2021, the newly minted candidate says she is not daunted by the idea of running as a Democrat in a state where the Republican Party controls the offices of governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and both chambers of the state legislature.

“I’ve already fought guys like Rick Scott and beat them,” Mucarsel-Powell, who was born in Ecuador and immigrated to the US when she was 14, said in a video announcing her campaign.

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In fact, a poll of 1,000 likely 2024 Florida voters conducted by the Global Strategy Group shows Mucarsel-Powell leading Scott, 44% to 43%. The survey also revealed that Scott’s political appeal has nose-dived, with only 32% having a favorable opinion of him versus 48% unfavorable.

‘Rick Scott Is a Fraud’

During her Congressional tenure, Mucarsel-Powell focused on foreign affairs, education, healthcare policy, environmental sustainability, and gun violence prevention. Her focus now, she says, is on the problems she sees with Florida’s current state leaders.

“What we are seeing is a governor that is embracing the most extreme radical wing of the Republican party to feed political points to his base for his political campaign,” Mucarsel-Powell told Floricua earlier this year.

On Tuesday, Mucarsel-Powell called out Rick Scott as “a fraud” and pointed out the dangers he represents for Floridians.

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“Rick Scott is trying to raise taxes on our families, he wrote a plan to end Social Security and Medicare coverage, and is trying to strip away abortion rights,” she said in a statement to the press. “Rick Scott is a fraud, and in Florida, we know it. Now, democracy is at stake.”

Although Mucarsel-Powell recognizes that she faces a steep climb in a red-leaning state, she is firmly convinced that the fight is winnable.

“We made history together when I became the first South American immigrant ever elected to Congress,” she says. “It will take all of us working together to defeat him, but that’s when we’re at our best; and everywhere I go I can feel this desire for change.”

Author

  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.

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