Home Politics Debbie Mucarsel-Powell Challenges Rick Scott in the 2024 US Senate Race

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell Challenges Rick Scott in the 2024 US Senate Race

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Debbie Mucarsel-Powell Challenges Rick Scott in the 2024 US Senate Race

Former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell said her race against Rick Scott is greater than about beating an incumbent senator and greater than an effort by Democrats to increase their razor-thin control of the U.S. Senate. As an alternative, she said, it’s personal.

Mucarsel-Powell, who immigrated from Ecuador at 14 years old, announced her bid to return to Capitol Hill on Aug. 22 in a video stating she would challenge Scott next 12 months. The prerecorded message this month announcing the challenge from the previous Democratic, one-term congresswoman stressed traditional themes.

Mucarsel-Powell insisted her background will connect with Floridians, since many have been in her shoes, scuffling with home affordability, working minimum-wage jobs, or coming from one other country at a young age. And she or he vowed to fight for Social Security and Medicare and in addition address homeowner insurance costs, housing affordability, gun safety, and abortion rights.

Gun safety is a very personal matter to her.

Mucarsel-Powell lost her father to gun violence when she was 24 years old. He was shot and killed outside his home in Ecuador. Losing her father in such a traumatic way, she said, is why she pledges to “fight day by day to maintain our youngsters and our communities protected.”

“It will at all times be a top issue that I work on, and it isn’t simply because it has affected me personally. We now have so many families living within the state of Florida which have been touched by these tragic losses because of gun violence,” Mucarsel-Powell said in an interview with the USA TODAY-Florida network.

Mucarsel-Powell was elected in 2018 to serve within the Miami-area District 26 congressional seat. She was certainly one of a record number of ladies elected to Congress in that midterm election’s blue wave.

Her election took place nine months after a horrific mass shooting killed 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Inside her first month in Washington, D.C., she joined an indication with gun-violence prevention advocates where they unveiled a statue of Joaquin Oliver, who was 17 years old when he was killed on the 2018 Valentine’s Day shooting in Parkland.

“What I’ve realized is that the problems which are vital to people living down here in South Florida, the problems which are vital to Latinos, are also the problems which are vital to Floridians within the north of the state,” Mucarsel-Powell said.

“They need those who are going to give you the option to sit down down with whomever it’s that desires to work on the problems which are vital to them, and I believe that that is what is going to connect with every Floridian within the state.”

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The entry of a Democratic challenger to Scott with recent Washington experience ended monthslong uncertainty and speculation with the list of name-dropped potentials even including NBA legends.

Last 12 months’s Democratic challenger for the U.S. Senate seat held by incumbent Republican Marco Rubio, Val Demings, joined the race in June 2021. Scott announced his reelection bid in January. Within the void, other lesser-known in addition to past Democratic officials entered the race.

Mucarsel-Powell lost her reelection bid in 2020 against current GOP U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez as Miami-Dade’s Cuban-American and Hispanic community largely sided with former President Donald Trump in his reelection bid.

Scott’s team quickly reacted to her entry into the sector of rivals.

“We would prefer to welcome yet one more failed congressional candidate to the crowded Democratic primary,” said Priscilla Ivasco, Scott’s communications director, in an announcement. “Former Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell is a radical socialist who voted 100% of the time with Nancy Pelosi during her short tenure in Congress, which is why the voters of South Florida booted her out of office the primary probability they got. Floridians already rejected her once and they’re going to reject her again.”

Mucarsel-Powell faces a heavy challenge going against Rick Scott

A key hurdle for Mucarsel-Powell in a statewide campaign is Florida’s pronounced political lurch to the fitting. As of July, the state GOP held a 568,051 voter-registration advantage over Democrats, 5.2 million to 4.6 million.

In last 12 months’s midterms, Rubio routed Demings by nearly 17 percentage points within the U.S. Senate contest. Gov. Ron DeSantis won his race by a virtually 20-point margin against his Democratic challenger, Charlie Crist. Probably the most significant outcomes of the election was the flip of multiple blue counties to red, including Palm Beach and Miami-Dade.

One reason those midterm races were so lopsided was a big drop in Democratic voter turnout and the defection of independent voters to Republican candidates, two trends Mucarsel-Powell, who has never run a statewide campaign, must reverse.

Against this, Scott will draw on the ability of the incumbency. He will even tap a broad network of donors, although he’s wealthy enough to self-finance his re-election and will probably be running in his fourth statewide campaign.

Still, Scott announced his entry into the 2024 race earlier this 12 months on the heels of a bruising 2022 midterm cycle. Scott led the National Republican Senatorial Committee, where his job was to fundraise for Republican candidates to assist the party win a majority within the Senate. Scott effectively raised money but was criticized when the slate of GOP candidates, including quite a few hard-right names running in swing states, didn’t capture a Senate majority.

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The frustration on Election Day was then followed by Scott’s unsuccessful challenge to Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell for minority leader. Scott then got chastised nationally for his proposal to sunset federal programs every five years, which required him to retreat by exempting Social Security, Medicare, the Veterans Administration, and national defense spending from his proposal.

Michael Binder, a pollster for the University of North Florida who has surveyed voters during Scott’s races previously, said Mucarsel-Powell’s concentrate on her background as an immigrant, gun safety, abortion, and protection of Social Security and Medicare are “vital messages.” But he said a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Florida may face the challenge of garnering significant attention on them during a presidential election 12 months, plus going against a highly funded incumbent.

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Binder said that Democrats would want a “confluence of events” to assist them have a probability at winning, like a transparent and energizing message and a “charismatic” candidate.

“It’s hard to be a Democrat in Florida straight away, particularly in a statewide race,” Binder said. “I still think that Florida is a reddish state. Yes, a Democrat could win, but I believe it might take a confluence of events that I’m undecided they’re at this point.”

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Mucarsel-Powell made the case that Florida’s independent and no-party voters would have a big role in her campaign since Florida has about 4.1 million voters either not registered with any party or registered with a minor one.

“This race will probably be defined by those who are in the middle, independents, those who will relate to the undeniable fact that we’d like to send someone within the Senate that is going to represent their interests,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “They’re really uninterested in partisanship.”

When Mucarsel-Powell won her election in 2018, the identical time Scott first ran for U.S. Senate, she had total campaign contributions of about $3.9 million, which largely got here from grassroots fundraising. In 2018, Scott raised about $82.8 million for his Senate race, which got here mostly from himself, grassroots fundraising, or large donors.

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