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Gov. Rick Scott becomes official Republican U.S. Senate candidate

Scott won closed primary against only other Republican candidate

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

Gov. Rick Scott successfully secured the Republican ticket for Florida's seat in the U.S. Senate Tuesday in the primary and will face off against Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson in November.

Scott easily earned his spot on the November ballot Tuesday against the only other Republican candidate for Florida's closed primary, Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, with more than 80 percent of the vote.

After eight years as Florida's governor, Scott announced earlier this year he would seek one of Florida's U.S. Senate seats. Nelson has held that position since 2001.

Before becoming Florida's 45th governor in 2011, Scott was a health care executive who built his fortune as the head of the hospital giant Columbia/HCA. The company investigated for Medicare fraud and paid $1.7 billion in fines. Scott was never charged or questioned in the investigation and denied any knowledge of fraud.

Scott resigned as CEO of Columbia/HCA in 1997. A year later, he moved to Naples and founded Richard L. Scott Investments.

[Continue to follow Florida primary election results here.]

During his time as governor, Scott focused on growing jobs in Florida after the recession and attempting to draw companies to the state.

In one of his first acts as governor, Scott vetoed a bill to fund a high-speed rail system from Tampa to Orlando, and eventually Miami, according to the review of Scott's legacy by the Tampa Bay Times.

Scott saw a spike in his approval rating when he led Floridians through Hurricane Irma in 2017, the worst storm during his time in office.

President Donald Trump endorsed the governor one day before the Florida primary.


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