Miami (AFP) – Declaring Washington a “disaster,” Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott on Monday announced his bid for the US Senate, setting up a high-profile race against a Democratic incumbent in November’s mid-term elections.
Scott, who has a year left in his second term as governor, enters the race as Republicans face the tough task of maintaining their control of Congress in the second year of fellow Republican Donald Trump’s presidency.
The multi-millionaire businessman-turned-politician made his announcement during a speech in Orlando, touting his success at creating new jobs in the southeastern state.
“I will bust my butt to win this election. We together will win,” Scott, 65, told a cheering crowd of supporters.
“We have to all acknowledge: Washington’s a disaster, it’s dysfunctional,” Scott added. “There’s a lot of old tired thinking up there.”
Scott made no mention of Trump, or whether he backs the president’s policies.
Scott assumed office in 2011, and has been seen as a blue-chip Republican recruit to challenge Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in November.
Democrats swiftly laid out their argument against Scott.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee head Mindy Myers branded him a “self-serving and dishonest” governor who oversaw poor job growth and has deflected responsibility in times of crisis, including a February mass shooting in which 17 people were killed at a high school in Parkland.