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 NelsonMcCaskill: 'Too many embarrassing uncles' in the Senate Bill Nelson uses farewell address to remind colleagues ‘no one person is above the law’ Coal supporter Manchin named top Dem on Senate Energy Committee 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 FrankenCongress sends bill overhauling sexual harassment policy to Trump's desk Senate approves bill reforming Congress's sexual harassment policy Kamala Harris to keep seat on Judiciary Committee 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 McCaskillThe Year Ahead: Tech braces for new scrutiny from Washington McCaskill: 'Too many embarrassing uncles' in the Senate FEC votes to allow lawmakers to use campaign funds for personal cybersecurity MORE (D-Mo.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate votes to overturn IRS guidance limiting donor disclosure Senate confirms Trump's pick to be deputy Treasury secretary O’Rourke is fireball, but not all Dems are sold 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