Once again, Bill Nelson denies he wants to run for governor

I asked him what he thought of the state of his party, seeing that high ranking Florida Democrats are touting him as gubernatorial material. Does that mean they have little confidence in the declared (that would be former Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich) or soon to be declared opponents of Rick Scott?

The mention of Scott seemed to fire up the senator, "Floridians are desperate to get out of the clutches of this Tea Party government that has been slashing education, slashing transportation, refuses to take the federal government money to set up the health insurance exchange, refuses to take the billions of dollars, $60 billion from the federal government to expand health care through Medicaid to 1.2 million people in this state who are eligible ... this is the kind of nonsense in the state of Florida government today, so people are upset and they're looking for a choice."

WFST reporter-anchor Sarina Fazan then got a bit meta with Nelson, asking if he ran and won as governor, would he appoint Charlie Crist to replace him in the Senate, "which is what he wanted in the first place," she said.

The venerable lawmaker looked absolutely perplexed by Fazan's line of thinking, and didn't even attempt to go there. Instead — and as he has said in countless other interviews recently — he stressed the experience and stature he's gained in the Democratic Caucus ranks, though he admitted that he's frustrated with the level of intransigence being promulgated by some Republicans.

"I want you to know I've got my hands full in D.C. being senator from a big state like Florida," he pronounced. "I know I have some seniority, I'm a chairman of a major committee (Committee on Aging), and since Senator Rockefeller announced that he's retiring, I will be the chairman of the Commerce Science and Transportation Committee in another year and a half. I love the U.S. senate, what I don't love is this ideological rigidity and this excessive partisanship that has got us in gridlock, where it's hard to do anything! And so I'm trying to change that as a common sense consensus builder to make government work."

He finished up by saying, "Now, I'm going to try that in the Senate, which is why I have no plans to run for governor."

Well, that should end that. At least until his next press conference.

  • Bill Nelson

Despite his protestations to the contrary, Bill Nelson continues to be floated as a possible Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2014. His latest declaration that he does not want to run to be the state's chief executive came during a session with Tampa reporters at the conclusion of a press event he held at his district office on Tuesday morning.

"I have no plans to run for governor," he stated. "I have no intention of running for governor."

I interrupted Nelson to repeat Democratic Party strategist Screven Watson's quote that Nelson said, "No, but not hell no." Will you, I asked the senator, say "hell no" to these rumors?

"Well, you want me to declare that I'm not running for governor," he replied, clearly exasperated, "When in fact I've never declared I'm running for governor."

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]