Scott Campaign Calls Latest Nelson Lawsuit a ‘Legal White Flag of Surrender’

Republicans say lawyer Marc Elias trying to 'pile up the billable hours' on Nelson

Rick Scott / Getty Images
• November 12, 2018 2:15 pm


The campaign of Florida's Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott immediately wrote off a Monday morning lawsuit filed by Democrats asking Florida officials to count vote-by-mail ballots received after the polls closed on Election Day, calling it a "frivolous and laughable" legal move.

A recount is currently underway—Scott is ahead by over 12,000 votes on incumbent Democratic senator Bill Nelson. Nelson has brought in Marc Elias, the Democratic Party's top lawyer, who has unleashed a barrage of lawsuits over the past week in his effort to swing the election in his favor.

The latest lawsuit asks the Florida Department of State to dismiss state law requiring mail ballots to be received by the time the polls close, claiming the law disenfranchises voters.

Scott's campaign called the Monday lawsuit a "nonserious" attempt by Elias, who it says is just trying to "pile up the billable hours."

"At this point, Marc Elias is taking his client for a ride … anything to pile up the billable hours," Scott's campaign said in a Monday email. "This new lawsuit asking to allow votes that came in after the election is nonserious, a joke in legal circles."

Scott campaign spokesman Chris Hartline called the lawsuit "a legal white flag of surrender."

"While the Scott campaign has won every legal challenge so far, Nelson's Washington lawyer seems to be content filing frivolous and laughable lawsuits—as long as his fee gets paid," Hartline said. "Today's lawsuit is nothing short of a legal white flag of surrender."

Hartline further said Scott's margin of victory can't be erased "without fraud."

"Governor Scott won the election by a margin that is mathematically impossible to close without fraud, and Bill Nelson can decline a recount at any time," he said. "Bill Nelson's legacy is on the line, but legacies don't pay Marc Elias's bills. Lawsuits do."

The Nelson campaign has been sending out fundraising emails at a furious pace over the weekend in an effort to fund the recount effort.

"Every dollar we raise today will ensure that every vote is counted in Florida," Nelson wrote in a Sunday email asking for donations to the "emergency recount fund."

Neither the Nelson campaign nor representatives for Elias responded to requests for comment.