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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times




Bill Nelson's ads for his U.S. Senate reelection campaign make a point of pointing out how the senator works with Democrats and Republicans. Thursday in Delray Beach, Nelson took it one step farther.

Citing what he said was a posionous partisan atmosphere in Washington, Florida's last statewide elected Democrat said he and his Republican counterpart, Sen. Mel Martinez, had recently talked about how "there was too much partisanship. The two of us have a good relationship, and we've known each other for 30 years, and we're going to try to set an example.''

While all of Washington is too big and mean for them to fix, ''we may have an effect on the U.S. Senate,'' he added.

Nelson was speaking to the Voters Coalition of Palm Beach County. The group is nonpartisan, though many members lean Democratic, and they applauded the idea. Nelson declined to provide details about what he and Martinez were planning. But his prediction for the outcome of Tuesday's elections in the Senate -- Democrats picking up a few seats, but not enough to take control -- would require more cooperation, he said. ''Mel and and I are going to be very intent about trying to get our colleagues not to be so partisan.''

-- Wes Allison

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:36am]


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