Rick Scott delays Senate swearing-in ceremony

Sen.-elect Rick Scott (R-Fla.) won't leave the Florida governor's mansion early and will instead be sworn in as a senator when his term expires in early January, a spokesman for the governor said Tuesday.

John Tupps, the governor's communications director, said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell to try to pass small business funds Thursday, warns against holding it 'hostage' Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal House Republicans, key administration officials push for additional funding for coronavirus small business loans MORE (R-Ky.) has agreed to hold Scott's swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 8, five days after other incoming senators are set to be sworn into office.

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Scott is waiting to leave his current position as governor of Florida until his successor, former Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisMiami mayor: South Florida weeks away from coronavirus peak Analysis: Floridians with coronavirus traveled to 46 states, all but one continent before testing positive Hundreds line up in Florida to apply for unemployment benefits amid issues with state website MORE (R), enters office.

“When Gov. Scott was elected Governor of Florida, he promised to fight for Florida families every single day of his term," Tupps said in a statement. "Gov. Scott will remain Governor until January 8th, 2019. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to hold the ceremony for Gov. Scott’s swearing-in as U.S. Senator from Florida that afternoon.”

The belated swearing in will make Scott the most junior of the incoming freshman senators. Other recently elected lawmakers will be sworn in Jan. 3, when the 115th Congress officially ends and the 116th Congress begins.

The Jan. 8 ceremony also means that Scott's lieutenant governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, will not assume the role of acting governor as was widely expected.

Scott defeated incumbent Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonLobbying world The most expensive congressional races of the last decade Lobbying world MORE (D-Fla.) last month after razor-thin margins in the race triggered two state-mandated recounts that ultimately put the two-term Republican governor ahead by roughly 10,000 votes.

Unlike Scott, Bob Graham, the last person to move from the Florida governor's mansion to the Senate, stepped down from his perch in Tallahassee on Jan. 3, 1987, and was sworn into the Senate the same day.