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Nelson campaign to donate $10K from Al Franken group to charity

Nelson campaign to donate $10K from Al Franken group to charity
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonElection Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue Election Countdown: Florida Senate fight resumes after hurricane | Cruz softens ObamaCare attacks | GOP worries Trump will lose suburban women | Latest Senate polls | Rep. Dave Brat gets Trump's 'total endorsement' | Dem candidates raise record B Florida extending early voting in counties hit by hurricane MORE (D-Fla.) on Saturday indicated that he would donate $10,000 that his campaign received during his 2012 Senate run from a political group belonging to former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenGOP lawmaker once belittled sexual harassment: 'How traumatizing was it?' Meet the man poised to battle Dems from the White House Minnesota GOP Senate candidate compared Michelle Obama to a chimp in Facebook post MORE (D-Minn.).

"Sen. Nelson made clear to his campaign today that any money received from former Sen. Al Franken was to be donated to charity, not just for the 2018 race, but also any contribution from the 2012 race as well," campaign spokesman Ryan Brown told The Hill.

His campaign issued the statement after CNN reported Saturday that the campaign had donated $10,000 that it received during the 2018 election cycle from Franken's PAC to a charity in Florida but was declining to donate a separate $10,000 donation from his 2012 Senate run.

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Nelson joined a wave of other Democrats last year saying he would donate money received from Franken's Midwest Values PAC after sexual misconduct allegations emerged against the Minnesota Democrat, eventually forcing his resignation from the Senate.

The campaign did not specify the amount at the time.

"Sen. Nelson donated all the money that he received for this campaign from Sen. Franken to charity," Brown had told CNN earlier Saturday.

Several other senators who took money in the past from Midwest Values PAC — including Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillOvernight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma —Senate debates highlight fight over pre-existing conditions | Support grows for Utah Medicaid expansion measure | Arkansas health official defends work requirements McCaskill campaign says ‘intern’ who filmed campaign had access to voter data McConnell defends Trump-backed lawsuit against ObamaCare MORE (D-Mo.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOvernight Energy: Outdoor retailer Patagonia makes first Senate endorsements | EPA withdraws Obama uranium milling rule | NASA chief sees 'no reason' to dismiss UN climate report Trump on 'I love you' from rally crowd: 'I finally heard it from a woman' Patagonia makes its first election endorsements with two Western Democrats MORE (D-Mont.) — gave back donations from the PAC dating several election cycles upon the news of the allegations facing Franken.

Nelson is locked in a tight reelection battle against Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who is seeking to unseat the vulnerable Democratic senator in November. The race is considered one of the tightest in the country.

A poll of the Florida Senate race in early September found the race tied, with both candidates earning 49 percent of the vote while Nelson holds a clear lead among independent voters.

This story was updated to reflect the Nelson campaign's statement to The Hill