Bill Nelson releases first digital ad of his re-election campaign

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s new digital ad features this 1980s picture of him as a U.S. House member who served as a payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia.

Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, facing an energetic challenge from Republican Gov. Rick Scott, is today releasing his first 2018 campaign ad — a digital spot rather than a more expensive TV advertisement.

Scott and his allies have already spent at least $11 million on TV ads. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last week made a $2.2 million ad buy in support of Nelson, who is seeking a fourth term.

Nelson’s new ad, titled “Stars,” celebrates Florida as a place “for doers, for dreamers, for builders, for adventurers. In Florida, we don’t just reach for the stars, we travel to them.”

Then, Nelson adds, “I know. I flew on the Space Shuttle.”

For longtime Florida politics watchers, it’s familiar stuff, as is Nelson’s next line: “And when I looked back at our planet, I didn’t see political divisions, I saw how we’re all in this together.”

But most of today’s Florida voters weren’t around in 1986 when Nelson, a U.S. House member at the time, flew on the Space Shuttle Columbia as a payload specialist.

Nelson’s campaign says the new ad “will reach Florida voters through a variety of digital platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.”