The Phoenix Flyer

It’s official: Gov. Rick Scott spent more than $63-million in U.S. Senate race

By: - December 7, 2018 8:30 am

The final, official tally of spending in Florida’s widely-watched U.S. Senate race was reported Thursday, with Gov. Rick Scott spending more than $63 million out of his own pocket to defeat Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.

That’s a whopping amount in the race that sparked lawsuits, recounts and national media attention.

All told, the Rick Scott for Florida campaign raised just under $83 million ($82,698,885), according to Federal Election Commission reports.

That contrasts sharply with Nelson, who raised nearly $28 million based on his final financial report.  

Stunningly, the Democratic incumbent left money on the table. The report shows he had more than $3 million cash-on-hand at the end of the election cycle.

In addition, outside groups supporting and opposing both candidates spent about $90 million in the race, CNBC reported last month.

The website Open Secrets reported last month that the Florida U.S. Senate race was the most expensive election ever in terms of combined candidate and outside spending, when only the candidates who made it to the general election were included.

Despite the massive spending by Scott, the amount falls short of the $73 million he spent to defeat Democrat Alex Sink in the governor’s race of 2010.




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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.