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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 McConnellTrump flubs speech location at criminal justice conference Sunday shows preview: Trade talks, Cohen sentencing memo take center stage Trump tells McConnell to let Senate vote on criminal justice reform 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 DeSantisLewandowski, Florida state senators tussle over Trump's influence on midterms: report Can the climate movement survive populism? Lessons from 'yellow vest' protests Andrew Gillum met with Obama during DC visit: report 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 NelsonManchin’s likely senior role on key energy panel rankles progressives Rick Scott delays Senate swearing-in ceremony Races Dems narrowly lost show party needs to return to Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy 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.