As you’re probably aware, in 2018, Rick Scott was elected to the United States Senate. At the moment, he is completing his third term as the representative of Florida. Before he was elected, he has completed two terms as the Governor of Florida, and throughout the 2 terms, he has worked on changing Florida’s economy.

However, do you know whom did Rick Scott run against for governor in 2018? Bill Nelson, who served in the United States Senate as a representative of Florida from 2001 to 2019. He was defeated in the race against Rick Scott. If you want to learn more about him, here are some interesting facts that you might want to know:

1. He Gave His First Speech in The ‘50s


A lot of people don’t know this, Bill Nelson gave his first-ever political speech in the ‘50s. Yes, this does mean that he was still in school and at the time, he was running for the position of junior high student body president. To no one’s surprise, Bill managed to win the race.

This happened in downtown Melbourne, and twenty-one years ago, he returned to the same auditorium and started his campaign for the US Senate. Like in the 1950’s he also managed to win that race as well, and he was also re-elected two more times after he initially won the race.

2. He Served Three Terms in The Florida House

Between his re-elections, he has served three terms in the Florida House. However, he didn’t stop there. He has also served six terms in the United States Congress, and he was chosen two times as the insurance commissioner of Florida – which is one of the most powerful elected offices in the state after Hurricane Andrew devastated the Miami area.

3. His Win-Loss Record is Amazing


You might not know this, but his overall win-loss record is actually amazing. He has fourteen wins versus one loss during the ‘90s race for governor. And, it’s also worth mentioning that he was the only member of the Democratic party that managed to win a statewide office since 2006.

4. He Served in The Army

Bill Nelson served in the US Army Reserve for six years – from 1965 to 1971. Additionally, he did see active duty for approximately two years, and during that time, he managed to earn the rank of Captain. After he has returned home, he decided to start his law practice in Melbourne Florida.

5. He Traveled to Space!


Bill Nelson has also traveled to space – which is something that other politicians cannot say about themselves. He started his astronaut training in Houston in 1985 and a year later, he successfully flew on the Columbia space shuttle as a payload specialist on a mission that lasted for six days.

During the mission, the crew launched a communication satellite and executed a couple of experiments that involved experiments on different materials processing, as well as infrared imaging. The crew and ship have returned to planet Earth on January 18th, 1986 and Bill states that it’s one of the best and daunting things he did during his life.

6. His Last Run is Remembered By Scandals

There were a lot of scandals that occurred during Bill Nelson’s run against Rick Scott. One that particularly got the attention of the public was when Rick revealed that Bill Nelson has sold his house to a corrupt Lebanese politician back in the day. He revealed this in an advertisement that was distributed to all media.

However, there were some scandals on Rick’s side as well, especially one that involved his consultant, as indicated by Scott Cooper Miami. If you’re interested in learning more about the incident that happened during the governor race, you can click here to read more about scandal.

7. He Supports The LGBTQ Community


Back in 2010, Bill has gained a lot of publicity and support from people mostly because he has voted for the revocation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” United States policy, one that would entirely prohibit openly gay individuals – both women and men – from serving the army.

Besides this, in 2013, he has publicly stated that he does have anything against same-sex marriages and that he, in fact, entirely supports it. Additionally, while he was in Congress, Bill has earned himself a reputation of being a liberal, especially after he supported several policies, including ones on weapon control.

8. He Lost By a Narrow Margin

Bill didn’t have any problems with winning his reelections during the 2006 and 2010 runs, however, once he tried for his fourth term back in 2018, it was a little bit more daunting and challenging, mostly because he had to face Governor Rick Scott – who gained popularity quickly with his actions.

The entire election was completely contested and went to a recount, which is when Bill Nelson ended up losing by a narrow margin. He has then completed the rest of his months, and at the beginning of 2019, he left office. Currently, Rick Scott is planning on competing for the 2024 election as well.

9. Florida Democrats Named Their HQ After Bill


Last on our list, is the fact that Florida Democrats decided to name their headquarters after Bill. More than 50 people have gathered at the party, where Bill and several other politicians gave short speeches. Nelson has expressed his gratitude to his fellow democrats and he has stated that it’s an honor for him.


From space mission to an incredible fourteen to one win-loss ratio, all the way to supporting LGBTQ rights, Bill Nelson is definitely a person that has made an impact on the politics in the United States. Although he lost the last governor from Rick Scott, he is still one of the most loved politicians in Florida.

Now that you’ve learned more about Bill Nelson, you might also want to do some digging on Rick Scott – especially the scandal we mentioned in our list above. So, don’t lose any more time, instead, open up a new search tab and start looking for some facts about Rick Scott as well.