Bill Nelson sounds moderate tone on campaign trail

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Sen. Bill Nelson, who kicked off a 20-stop tour through Florida on Friday, is stressing his moderate record as he campaigns across the state.

Nelson kicked off his “Florida First” tour on Friday with singer Jimmy Buffet at the Orlando-Sanford International Airport.  Over the weekend, the senator visited The Villages, the sprawling retirement community northwest of Orlando.

“I think the people of Florida know that throughout my career I’ve put Florida first,” Nelson said in his remarks.  “I haven’t emphasized the Democrat or the Republican way.  But, I’ve tried to do what’s right for Florida.”

The tour will include visits to at least 20 Florida towns, cities and communities from the Panhandle to South Florida, Nelson’s campaign said.

Nelson, who is leading Mack by double-digits in many polls, stressed he’s not over confident. “I feel very good but in the same breath I take nothing for granted,” the Democrat said.

Rep. Connie Mack’s campaign, meanwhile, accused Nelson of campaigning on “remote control.”

“Off like a heard [sic] of turtles, after forty years in public office the best Bill Nelson can do is a 14 day campaign; with one event a day in most cases; while Connie Mack just did 26 stops in 6 days on his first bus tour,” Mack campaign spokesperson David James said in a statement Friday.

On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Times endorsed Nelson, saying he “has served Florida well,” and “deserves to be elected to a third term.”

Via Nora McAlvanah of

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.