The Democratic Party has selected former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell to contest against the current Republican senator from Florida, Rick Scott.
With an aim to strengthen their narrow majority in the U.S. Senate, Democrats are striving to shift certain Senate seats from the red column to the blue.
“I am Debbie Mucarsel-Powell,” the former congresswoman stated in a post on her X account. “I am an immigrant, a Latina, and a mother.”
“I am unafraid to take on anyone who doesn’t prioritize Florida. That includes you, Rick Scott. This is why I am running for the U.S. Senate.”
Previously, Mucarsel-Powell represented the Miami region in Congress from 2019 to 2021, before losing her seat to Republican Rep. Carlos Gimenez.
Despite Florida leaning more to the right in the 2022 midterm elections, Mucarsel-Powell believes she can make a case for the Democrats’ viability in the state, as reported by The Epoch Times.
Prominent Democratic figures, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have reportedly played a significant role in encouraging Mucarsel-Powell to enter the race.
“I have been hearing from many Florida families, and they are ready for new leadership, for a change,” Mucarsel-Powell mentioned in an interview with Politico.
The Politico report highlighted that the Ecuadorian-born candidate criticized Scott as a “total fraud” who has “failed Floridians.”
“I do not make any assumptions or underestimate how challenging it will be,” Mucarsel-Powell added. “This is a divided country. It is a divided state.”
“But what I have learned is that when you listen to Floridians across the state and you put their interests first, no amount of money can prevent them from electing the right person to represent them,” stated Mucarsel-Powell.
Due to the absence of a prominent Democratic candidate in the race, party leaders were actively searching for a strong contender to challenge Scott.
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Schumer personally reached out to Mucarsel-Powell, stressing the importance of her candidacy in maintaining the Democrats’ slim majority in the Senate.
Democrats view Scott as vulnerable due to his narrow victories in previous midterm elections, where turnout tends to be lower compared to general elections like the one in 2024.
Scott faced significant backlash for his Rescue America Plan, which proposed requiring all Americans to pay income tax and having a sunset clause on all legislation, including Social Security.
Scott ultimately reversed his proposal, asserting that he would never support abolishing Social Security, as reported by Politico.
“We welcome yet another unsuccessful congressional candidate to the crowded Democrat primary,” commented Priscilla Ivasco, Scott’s communications director, in a statement.
Mucarsel-Powell has garnered endorsements from Democratic-affiliated groups, including the UnidosUS Action Fund.
“The UnidosUS Action Fund enthusiastically welcomes Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s consideration to run for the U.S. Senate in Florida against incumbent Rick Scott,” their statement read.
“As a proven advocate for the Latino community and a strong defender of the values we cherish, Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell’s leadership is precisely what Florida needs at this juncture.”
Historically, Florida was considered a battleground state, with both Democrats and Republicans having a reasonable chance of winning. In recent times, the state has leaned more towards the GOP, showing significant support for figures like President Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis secured his 2022 re-election with a notable margin of over 19 points, an impressive feat in Florida’s political landscape. The GOP also managed to turn traditionally Democratic strongholds, such as Miami-Dade County.
In her campaign advertisement, Mucarsel-Powell underscores her unique status as the first South American immigrant elected to Congress.
She also highlights her endorsement of abortion rights and gun control, while critiquing Scott’s “Rescue America” plan, which she claims would cut Medicare and Social Security.
“I drafted the bill to expand Medicare, not to diminish it,” she stated. “Because I understand that my mother and countless others rely on it.”