ST. PETE BEACH — Sen. Bill Nelson and his new colleague Marco Rubio will walk together to the State of the Union speech and plan to sit together, Nelson told members of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce on Thursday at Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach.
Nelson, a Democrat, said he issued the invitation to Rubio shortly after the Republican junior senator returned this week from a trip to Afghanistan. Nelson said Rubio quickly agreed, which Nelson said was a good sign the two will continue the Florida tradition of working together despite partisan differences.
Nelson received a bit of a hero's reception at the event, the annual dinner for one of the state's most ardent antidrilling chambers. When other chambers were "charmed and seduced" by the oil industry's pitch to the 2009 Florida Legislature, Nelson said, this chamber stood firm.