The Phoenix Flyer

Bill Nelson and Rick Scott agree to two campaign debates

By: - September 11, 2018 10:48 am
Bill Nelson Rick Scott

Bill Nelson/Rick Scott

UPDATE: Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott have come to an agreement to debate at least twice in their campaign for U.S. Senate.

The first takes place on Tuesday, October 2 in Miami, and be broadcast on Telemundo’s stations in Miami, Tampa, Fort Myers, Orlando and West Palm Beach, and streamed on

That hour-long forum will be moderated by Telemundo 51’s Marilys Llanos and WTJC NBC6’s news anchor Jackie Nespral. According to the rules that both campaigns have agreed to, the debate will be  conducted and aired in Spanish, with an English translation. It will be taped in the morning and broadcast that evening from 7pm to 8pm.

Rick Scott “is going to have to start answering for the poor job he’s done as governor and how he’s enriched himself in public office,” Nelson said on Twitter Monday.

The Scott camp had been calling for weeks for Nelson to formally accept a debate, but the Democratic incumbent said he would wait until after the August 28 primary before committing to any debate.

Scott has agreed to two other debates – One at Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute (no date has been established yet), and an October 16th debate to be broadcast on CNN that will take place in either Tampa or Miami. Nelson agreed formally on Tuesday afternoon to the CNN debate, which will be moderated by Wolf Blitzer.

“Before a large viewing audience, and a respected news anchor, Rick Scott is going to have to answer for the damage he’s done in Florida and for the ways he has enriched himself in public office,” the Nelson campaign said today.

The Nelson-Scott duel is one of the most watched Senate races in the country, and the two most recent polls have it in a dead heat.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.