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Sen. Bill Nelson to hold first major Miami fundraiser



U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who is expected to face a major reelection battle in 2018, will hold his first major Miami fundraiser Friday.

Ira and Cynthia Leesfield, major donors to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, are hosting the event at their Miami home Friday evening. About 100 people are expected to attend the fundraiser where the minimum donation is $1,000.

"There were some reservations that it would be hard to raise money after the presidential election but the fact of the matter is that's not so," Ira Leesfield said. "People are very motivated out of fear or whatever you name it."

Nelson will attend a smaller fundraiser later in the evening at the home of Roger Thomson and Jim Tyrell in Miami Beach. That fundraiser is expected to draw members of the LGBT community and beach residents.

Nelson is likely to face Republican Gov. Rick Scott who is considering a bid. Nationally, Republicans are targeting Nelson as a Democrat in a swing state where President Donald Trump won. Nelson is Florida's only Democratic statewide office holder.

Nelson has easily won elections multiple times, but the millionaire Scott would be a far more formidable opponent. In 2012, Nelson was reelected to his third term when he beat Connie Mack IV, a Fort Myers Congressman.

Early polls have shown Nelson leading Scott.