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Rick Scott declares his candidacy to lead Senate Republicans • Florida Phoenix

Rick Scott will throw his hat in the ring to lead the Senate Republican caucus.

Scott joins a field that already includes John Thune of Idaho and John Coryn of Texas, who have previously announced bids to succeed Mitch McConnell, who announced earlier this year that he would be leaving his post as Senate GOP leader. .

“I’m an agent of change,” Scott told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Wednesday night. “I was an agent of change in business. I made course changes. I changed Florida and we are going to change the Senate. And we will be the Senate that helps Donald Trump carry out his conservative agenda.”

Scott said he had spoken to Trump earlier Wednesday and that “he’s excited to have me in the race.”

This is not the first time Scott has run to lead the Senate Republican caucus.

Shortly after Senate Republicans suffered a relatively disappointing midterm election in 2022, Scott ran against McConnell as Senate leader and lost miserably, 37-10. “While today’s election results were not what we expected, this is far from the end of our fight to make Washington work,” Scott said in a written statement.

Scott’s bid for Republican Senate leadership comes as he seeks re-election to a second six-year term. But unlike his previous runs for governor or senator, the political landscape is much more favorable for Republicans and to date he has comfortably led the polls.

Perhaps that’s why he’s been confident enough to speak publicly about his tenure at Columbia/Hospital Corp. of America (HCA), the hospital chain he helped run in the 1990s and which was ultimately fined $1.7 billion. of dollars in a Medicare fraud investigation, which at the time was the largest settlement of its kind in United States history.

Democratic reaction

Scott’s likely Democratic opponent in the Senate, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, issued a statement upon learning of Scott’s plans to run for Senate Republican leader.

“Egotistical Rick Scott is a danger to Florida families and, as Senate leader, would be a disaster for Americans,” he said.

“We all know that if Rick Scott is elected to lead the Senate, he will not hesitate to push his toxic and out-of-touch agenda to eliminate Social Security and Medicare, raise taxes on middle-class families, and force a national ban on abortion. about the American people. There is no line that Rick Scott won’t cross to promote his own extreme agenda. “The stakes in this race are much higher, but voters are excited and ready to retire Rick Scott, for Florida workers and for Americans across the country.”

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried also weighed in in a written statement.

“Scott’s self-serving agenda has failed Florida, and now he threatens to take his plans nationwide: he would enact a national ban on abortion, cut Social Security and Medicare, and raise taxes on working families, while he would cut taxes on corporations and the rich like him. .”

The election of the Senate Republican leader is expected to take place sometime after the November elections.