- George Bennett Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Liberal campaign megadonor Tom Steyer is targeting Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, freshman U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, and other key races around the state as part of a $3.5 million effort to mobilize young voters.
Steyer’s NextGen America announced the Florida midterm push Wednesday, pledging to “hire over 100 organizers to engage young Floridians on at least 40 campuses.” NextGen says it already has 53 paid staff in the state.
Steyer was the top individual donor in the U.S. in 2016, pouring more than $91 million to Democratic candidates and liberal causes, according to OpenSecrets.org. Republican moneyman Sheldon Adelson was second with $82.6 million in contributions.
NextGen says it will focus on Florida’s Senate and governor’s races and four congressional contests, including Mast’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18. Scott, facing term limits as governor, is expected to run for Senate against three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action Committee spent more than $20 million in Florida in 2014, when Scott won re-election over Democrat Charlie Crist.