TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Former Democrat Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2024 in a direct challenge to sitting U.S. Senator Rick Scott.
Murcarsel-Powell lost her congressional post during the 2020 election, when Republican Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez defeated her by approximately three percentage points.
Her candidacy comes at a time when the Republican Party has a stranglehold on statewide elected offices. Every cabinet position and both U.S. Senate seats are controlled by the GOP, along with holding a supermajority in the Florida Legislature.
“I don’t make any assumptions or underestimate how difficult it is going to be,” Mucarsel-Powell told Politico. “This is a divided country. It’s a divided state. But what I have realized, what I have learned is that when you listen to Floridians across the state and you put their interests first, no amount of money is going to stop them from sending the right person to serve them.”
Many of Florida’s counties are continuing to trend red. Jefferson County, one of Florida’s rural northern counties, flipped to the GOP in terms of voter registrations. Additionally, analysis in the last year has shown that the Americans moving to Florida are more to the Right of things.
As recently as last month, Florida Republicans expanded their voter registration lead over Democrats by over half a million registrants.
Murcarsel-Powell’s track record is also to the Left of many Florida voters. She will likely have to explain why she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump while she was a member of the Judiciary Committee.
Scott’s communications team referred to Murcarsel-Powell as a “socialist” and a “failed candidate.”
“We’d like to welcome yet another failed congressional candidate to the crowded Democrat primary,” Scott’s Communications Director Priscilla Ivasco said in a statement on Tuesday. “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 first chance they got. Floridians already rejected her once and they will reject her again.”
Since her time in Congress, she has worked as a Senior Advisor for Giffords, a gun control advocacy group founded by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Murcarsel-Powell was born in Ecuador and immigrated to the United States when she was 14.