Democrats have won a handful of local and state House elections in Florida in the era of Trump.
"Some say as governor I have never fit in or played by the political rules in Tallahassee " Mr. Scott said. He called for enacting term limits in Congress and discussed how he was raised in low income housing by a mother and stepfather who worked multiple jobs.
Scott formally entered the race Monday for Nelson's Senate seat in what is expected to be an expensive and competitive race.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.
Republicans have also shown that they're eager to knock Nelson out of the Senate in a key swing state, a victory that would all but assure the party keeps control of the Senate.
The Democrats have shown some fear in Scott as they've spent a long time preparing for his announcement.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson speaks with students at Pensacola State College in 2017. Credit Dave Dunwoody WUWF Public Media
"Washington is a disaster; there's [sic] a lot of old, exhausted thinking up there, [and] it's not heading in the right direction", Scott said. "And I think in this case a lot of the differences between the two of us are going to come out in the course of the campaign, so that's what I'd say at this point".
Despite serving eight years as Florida's chief executive, Scott is painting himself as the outsider candidate - like Trump, a distinction still popular among Republican activists. "When Floridians go to vote in November, they'll remember that Nelson collected millions in taxpayer dollars and has accomplished virtually nothing to benefit his constituents". Bob Graham, a two-term Democratic incumbent, beat U.S. Sen.
As Scott has run a stealth campaign the a year ago, Nelson has quietly prepared for the challenge.
After Trump won, he returned the favor by publicly urging Scott to jump into the race for Senate - making clear that he would help the Florida Republican every step of the way. "This concept of career politicians has got to stop".
He resigned in 1997 while the company faced federal fraud charges over Medicare billing practices.
Janson Manso is also a supporter of President Trump and would like to see Scott in the Senate to support him.
The race will take place fresh off the tragic shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 students and staff dead and kick-started a national student movement that's captured the attention of lawmakers from coast to coast.
"We're going to continue to be the best friend in the world for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico and in the United States", Scott said.