The pro-Democrats Senate Majority PAC is launching a new statewide commercial for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson that largely counters the attack ads he’s been facing from his opponent Gov. Rick Scott and his New Republican PAC.

The new 30-second spot, “Served,” portrays Nelson as someone who has served in the military and as an astronaut and who has worked across party lines and fought hard to protect programs such as Social Security and health care benefits. It essentially counters two spots that Scott and his PAC have out seeking to paint Nelson as a do-nothing and as highly-partisan.

Nelson’s campaign and his political action committee, Moving America Forward, have not yet launched any commercials, so the Senate Majority PAC TV commercial appears as Nelson’s first broadcast defense from the many attack ads that Scott and New Republican PAC have been running  against him for weeks.

Senate Majority PAC‘s initial buy is for $2.2 million, and the ad is running statewide, said SMP spokesman Chris Hayden.

“Bill Nelson’s life has been about service to others and to his country, and he continues that tradition of service everyday as he fights and advocates for Floridians,” Hayden stated in a news release. “Nelson is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with powerful interests. From protecting Medicare and Social Security from privatization to standing up to insurance companies by stopping them from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, he never backs down from a fight. Bill Nelson delivers for Florida and there is no question he is the only candidate in this race that puts Florida first.”

As pictures and video appear of Nelson in his U.S. Army captain’s uniform and of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Capitol Hill, Nelson speaking at a town hall, and seniors, a narrator says, “He served his country as an Army captain. An astronaut on the shuttle Columbia. And as one of America’s most independent senators, Bill Nelson has delivered for Florida. When some tried to privatize Social Security and Medicare for millions of Floridians, he stopped them, stopped insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions too. We need a Senator who serves all of us. Who puts Florida first. That’s Bill Nelson.”

Rick Scott’s campaign communications director Ryan Patmintra responded that the ad “focuses on things Nelson has opposed, but not a single thing he has accomplished.”

“After a half century in office, shouldn’t Floridians know who Bill Nelson is? It looks like Democrat party boss Chuck Schumer has had to come to the aid of his struggling foot soldier Bill Nelson. It’s ironic that a liberal SuperPAC is going out of its way to claim that Bill Nelson is independent,” Patmintra said in a written statement. “Nelson’s voting record is anything but moderate and nothing can hide his own record of voting in lockstep with his party bosses in D.C. Not surprisingly, the ad focuses on things Nelson has opposed, but not a single thing he has accomplished. Clearly, Nelson’s own base can’t even come up with real results worth sharing.”

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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