By Neil W. McCabe, National Political Correspondent
May 1, 2023
(Views expressed by guest commentators may not reflect the views of OAN or its affiliates.)
[Tallahassee, Fla.] Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott is up for his second six-year term in 2024 without a serious primary challenge, but that does not mean the Democrats are not looking for someone to take on the former two-term governor and healthcare executive.
Here are the Top Five possible Democratic challengers for Scott’s Senate seat in 2024:
No. 5 Lauren Book
State Sen. Lauren Book is a rising star in the Florida Democrat Party and the party’s leader in the State Senate. Before she pulled off the mid-session coup in 2022 to take her current position, she was planning a run for chief financial officer against Republican Jimmy Patronis. Now, she is picking up the pieces from the shellacking Democrats took in the just-ended 2023 legislative session, and it might be time for a change of scenery.
No. 4 Gwen Graham
Number four is Assistant Education Secretary Gwen Graham. Graham was a one-term Democrat Congresswoman who did not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker. In 2018, Graham lost the Democrat gubernatorial nomination to then Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, but she is not done yet. She is the daughter of Bob Graham, a former Florida senator, and former governor, and she still sees elected office as a family business.
No. 3 Jared Moskowitz
Representative Jared Moskowitz was an intern for Vice President Al Gore, and before winning his House seat in 2022, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed the Broward County Democrat to be his Director of Emergency Response, where he led DeSantis’s COVID-19 programs and vaccine rollout and earned the moniker “The Master of Disaster.”
No. 2 & No. 1 Grant Hill and Dwayne Wade
The top spots are really a tie between two NBA legends, Dwayne Wade and Grant Hill. Both men have money, can raise money, and have tremendous goodwill with Florida residents.
During his two-decade career, Hill spent eight years with the Orlando Magic, and he still lives in the area. Although not overtly political, the small forward campaigned for Democrats running for president in the past and has played basketball with President Barack Obama and attended his 2016 birthday party at the White House. As a result, major Democrat donors and attorney John Morgan are actively recruiting him.
Miami Heat standout, Dwayne Wade, is also close to Obama, but Democrat donors and leaders are recruiting the future Hall of Famer because he publicly supports his son’s decision to become a crossdresser and model. The problem is that Wade left Florida for California, selling his Miami home in 2021, reportedly because Florida is hostile to gender switching.
In 2018, then-governor Rick Scott defeated Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in a race decided by roughly 10,000 votes out of more than 8 million that were cast. It was an election rocked by election irregularities in Democratic-controlled Miami Dade, Palm and Broward Counties, foreshadowing the controversies of 2020.
Anyone challenging Scott has to know that in 2022, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio won by nearly 20 points—and 2024 is a nasty cycle for Senate Democrats.
Of the 34 Senate seats up, Democrats are defending 23, and three of them are in states won by President Donald Trump twice, Ohio, Montana and West Virginia, which all means as Republicans expand their target map, Democrats are conducting triage.
Neil W. McCabe is a national political correspondent based in Tallahassee, Florida. Before his current assignment, Neil covered the White House and Capitol Hill for OAN. He is a Bronze Star veteran of the Iraq War and continues to serve as a senior public affairs NCO in the Army Reserve. Follow him at Twitter: @neilwmccabe2 GETTR & TruthSocial: @ReporterMcCabe