POLITICS

Bill Nelson 'Tempted' To Run For Governor, Doesn't Like Florida's Direction Under Rick Scott

MIAMI BEACH, FL - APRIL 22:  U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) speaks as he chairs a hearing entitled, 'Leading the Way: Adapting
MIAMI BEACH, FL - APRIL 22: U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) speaks as he chairs a hearing entitled, 'Leading the Way: Adapting to South Florida's Changing Coastline.' by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's Subcommittee on Science and Space at Miami Beach's City Hall on April 22, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. The Senator held the hearing to listen to local officials, scientists and others as they spoke about the results of global warming leading to rising seas, which will hit low-lying Florida, much of it barely above sea level with major flooding. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Image s)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has repeatedly said he wouldn't jump into the race to unseat Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R). But that doesn't mean Nelson isn't tempted.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported Wednesday that Nelson expressed a lingering interest in the Florida gubernatorial race as he met with local business leaders. He cited Scott's decision to decline federal dollars for high-speed rail and to not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act as two areas where he doesn't like Scott's decisions.

“I think it’s not only a shame, I think it’s a moral abscess," Nelson said in reference to effects of the Medicaid decision, according to the paper.

Florida’s refusal to expand the program means more than 1.2 million Floridians lose out on the opportunity for Medicaid coverage.

Scott's presumed general election opponent in November is former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who served as a Republican before becoming an independent and then subsequently a Democrat.

Former Rep. Jim Davis (Fla.) and national Democratic officials speculated in 2013 that Nelson would run, though they expected him to have made his decision by now.

“I firmly believe he is considering the race,” Davis told MSNBC in November.

Nelson criticized Scott in December over restrictions on voting via absentee ballot, saying it was "so obvious" the governor's administration was working to make it harder for people to vote.

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