U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, standing in the small living room of the Orlando Democratic Executive Committee on Park Lake Street Monday morning, announced his endorsement for Beth Tuura for the House District 47 seat.
In doing so, he recalled his own time running for HD 47, especially his early adventures going door to door to promote his candidacy.
“Going door to door, you learn a lot about life,” he said. “I repeated it when I went to Congress years later. People remembered me and said ‘you came to my door.’ Running that kind of personal campaign makes a difference. That’s harder in a state as big as this, but I am happy we have someone like you.”
He went on to say Tuura was the kind of candidate needed to help win back the Florida House for the Democrats — and, even if the Senate remained Republican-controlled, it was good to have that kind of parity in the state.
“This is the beginning,” he said. “One house should be check and balance against unlimited power by one party. That’s what’s important.”
Tuura said she was “so honored” to have Nelson’s endorsement, as he was a great example to her of everything from responsible government leadership to championing the environment.
She also vowed that, if she wins, she will “fight any legislation seeking to bring fracking to the community and put dangerous chemicals in the water,” and vowed to expand health care to thousands of families.
She also took time to comment on the much-publicized video released over the weekend in which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made numerous offensive and inappropriate comments about women.
“What we’ve heard from the Republican nominee is horrible talk, and disturbing to anyone, whether you’re in a locker room or a board room,” she said. “I will have zero tolerance for discrimination. I will fight against discrimination whether it’s about who you love or what you look like.”
Nelson also spoke about the presidential election, stating he believed Hillary Clinton was going to win Florida and the election overall. But he still had his concerns, particularly with how he thought Trump may act after the election’s aftermath in that case.
“I think Hillary Clinton is going to win this election,” he said. “But I think it will be the first time the loser does not concede to the winner after the election. It will be the first time in the history of this country that the loser does not give credibility to the government’s ability to function. That’s a sad commentary.”
He also said he had “never seen politics more ideologically divided,” and stated he believed it wasn’t what America wanted or needed.
But Nelson also offered a positive spin on the idea, stating he believed the people of Florida were too good to fall for the divisive rhetoric of some in this election.
“Just look at the intolerance,” he said. “The ‘I know better’ attitude, the ‘My way or the highway’ attitude … you can’t run the country like that. People want a leader who is going to build consensus. That’s not going to cover it. Before all the stuff from last weekend, I predicted Hillary Clinton would win Florida by five points. Now, I think it may be more than that. If she wins, that’s it — and that helps candidates like Beth Tuura, too.”