Gov. Rick Scott returned to the campaign trail on Tuesday with his first public events after taking weeks off to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
Scott’s campaign explained that the governor had been back at work trying to win the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Bill Nelson for a few days now but his appearance with President Donald Trump in Estero on Halloween night will be the first event open to the public since the storm struck.
The governor’s campaign team tells Florida Daily their boss had a dual role over the past week.
“With hurricane recovery still ongoing, Governor Scott’s primary focus will continue to be working to solve problems and coordinating efforts by federal, state and local officials to make sure communities devastated by Hurricane Michael can get back on their feet. Recovery has been going well, but there’s still a lot of work to be done and Governor Scott, unlike Bill Nelson who said he’d done everything he could do after one week, will continue to work to restore those communities until his last day in office,” Scott’s team insisted.
Talking to the media just minutes after voting early, Nelson agreed with the governor that there is more work to be done.
“There are going to be parts of that part of Florida, especially in the rural areas that are going to be out of electricity for a while because the lines downs with all of those trees down there. The rural parts are going to be hurting for a while,” Nelson said.
Asked if Scott will spend more time in Tallahassee and the Panhandle in the final days of the campaign, Nelson passed.
“That’s up to him,” Nelson said. “He can handle his part, I will handle my part.”
Nelson said believes there is more at hand to the governor’s actions than just focusing on recovery, insisting his rival is ducking the public.
“I think that it clearly what it was,” Nelson said. “The press can’t get to him. He doesn’t have public meetings where the public and the press can get to him. I think it is clear.”
It’s a sentiment Scott completely disagrees with and even used that assertion to take a shot at his rival. Scott put it simply when asked by a reporter what the biggest difference is between him and his opponent. “I work and he doesn’t,” Scott said.
Florida Daily will continue to monitor the campaign schedule for both candidates in the final week of the election. More than three million ballots have already been cast in the state of Florida as of the morning of October 30.
Reach Mike Synan at Mike.Synan@floridadaily.com.