As Donald Trump Tours Hurricane Michael Damage With Him, Rick Scott Announces Plan to Skip Campaign Events

Sen. Bill Nelson continuing to survey hurricane damage, as well

President Donald Trump makes a flyover as he tours the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael on October 15, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm causing massive damage and claimed the lives of at least 17 people. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump makes a flyover as he tours the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael on October 15, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm causing massive damage and claimed the lives of at least 17 people. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Posted October 15, 2018 at 4:31pm

With millions and millions of dollars being spent, Florida’s Senate race may keep dominating the airwaves, but both candidates themselves have been spending more of their time on recovery from Hurricane Michael.

Florida First Lady Ann Scott announced in a video message that she would be stepping in on behalf of her husband, GOP Gov. Rick Scott, on the Senate campaign trail indefinitely.

“When we first got married, we didn’t have a lot of money, and while it wasn’t always easy, I knew that Rick would always be there for me and our family. Now, Florida is family,” she said. “Rick is solely focused on helping those affected by Hurricane Michael recover. He is not going to be campaigning, but I will be hitting the campaign trail to talk with you about why you should be voting for Rick to be our next U.S. senator.”

The governor may or may not return to the campaign trail in Florida before Election Day. The race is rated a Toss-up by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

“It’s unclear, at this point, whether he will hold any campaign events before the November 6 election, though it is still possible closer to election day,” Scott spokesman Chris Hartline told newspapers, including the Tampa Bay Times.

Hartline also said the campaign operation was working on bringing out a number of other surrogates to campaign on Scott’s behalf.

Scott’s Senate opponent, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, has been out surveying the damage from Michael. He posted a video on Monday from the west side of the Apalachicola River.

“Calhoun, just like all these other small, rural counties really got hit hard. It could be in the outlying areas, a month, month-in-a-half before some of them are getting electricity,” Nelson said. “And they’re thinking that it might be a long time also in the actual city of Blountstown.”

“That is the kind of handicap that a lot of these people are going to have to deal with, no electricity for a long period of time, and yet they all have the can-do spirit.”

Scott spent Monday touring storm damage in the panhandle with President Donald Trump, where Trump praised his leadership of response efforts.

“Rick Scott, your governor, has done an incredible job, and all of your people have been amazing — working with FEMA, working with the first responders, and, always, law enforcement,” Trump told reporters upon arriving at Eglin Air Force Base on Monday morning.

The aftermath of the monster hurricane could have effects beyond the Sunshine State Senate race, but the day-to-day effects have been most pronounced in Florida.

The president and first lady Melania Trump continued on to hurricane-ravaged parts of Georgia after touring the Panhandle.