U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has been on the political stage longer than anyone in Florida, since 1972 — the year of Watergate and President Richard Nixon's re-election.
That's staying power. It's no wonder that at 74, he's not ready to retire.
Nelson, the only Democrat holding statewide office, has led a charmed political life, winning three Senate races against weak Republicans.
But that may be coming to an end. He wants a fourth term, and his likely opponent is Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
"The way I approach an election, I assume nothing," Nelson says. "I run scared as a jackrabbit."
Scott, who has won two close races for governor, looks more battle-tested than Nelson, has more money in the bank and is a perpetual campaigner.
On the road constantly, the governor held several roundtables in recent weeks and urged local leaders to save Enterprise Florida from that "job-killing" House speaker, Richard Corcoran.
So it surely was coincidental that, with no notice, Corcoran invited Nelson to address the House last Thursday while the senator was in Tallahassee.
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