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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill Nelson: 'Disregard' my 'flip remark' about running for governor



U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Tuesday said he was not running for governor and distanced himself from a recent POLITICO report that he might consider it if Democratic candidate Charlie Crist got in trouble.

Nelson said a reporter approached him two weeks ago with a question about running. According to POLITICO, Nelson said on Nov. 19 he was not considering a run for governor, wished Crist the best but said he might change course if Crist "gets into trouble." Asked what he meant by trouble, POLITICO reported that Nelson responded, "That's in the eye of the beholder."

POLITICO's report came after the Tampa Bay Times reported that Nelson's chief of staff, Pete Mitchell, was signaling to donors that they should keep their powder dry in case Crist struggles and Nelson decides to jump in.

Asked about the gets-into-trouble remark on Tuesday, Nelson said he had just had a procedure done on his left knee, was on crutches and was trying to get on an escalator when a reporter approached him with a question about the governor's race and stuck an audio recorder or smart phone "in my face."

"I made some flip remark," he said. Asked what people should make of it, Nelson said, "you should disregard it."

When asked during an earlier news conference whether he's running for governor, Nelson said, "I have no plans to run for governor. I have no intention of running for governor. I have my hands full as senator."

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 4:00pm]


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