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 Nelson2020 party politics in Puerto Rico There is no winning without Latinos as part of your coalition Dem 2020 candidates court Puerto Rico as long nomination contest looms 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 FrankenVirginia can be better than this Harris off to best start among Dems in race, say strategists, donors Virginia scandals pit Democrats against themselves and their message 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 McCaskillMcCaskill: Lindsey Graham 'has lost his mind' Trey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government MORE (D-Mo.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterHow the border deal came together GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Border talks stall as another shutdown looms 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