Rick Scott to face off against former South Florida congresswoman in US Senate campaign

Former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell announced Tuesday that she's challenging Sen. Rick Scott, in hopes that her history of winning a tight race in a district that included rural rural Monroe County and western Miami-Dade foreshadows her ability to win statewide.

The Ecuadorian immigrant is hoping to become the second Latina in the US senate.

"We live in a purple state, which is great. We are diverse," she said. "We have an independent streak in this state. I won in a district where I obtain the support of not only Democrats, but Republicans and independents, because I spoke to them."

READ: Who is running for president in 2024? Meet the candidates

But since the last time a Democrat won statewide – 2018 – Florida's party registration has shifted from a Democratic advantage to a 4% Republican advantage. The Democratic Party's state chair announced they're spending $1 million on voter registration efforts.

"What we're doing is reinvesting in our local party apparatuses, making sure that money is going home to our local county parties," Nikki Fried, Florida's Democratic Party chair, said. "They're going to be the ones on the ground doing the work, knocking on the doors, going to community organizing events."

Scott though, a three-time statewide winner, is already deep into campaigning, traveling the state and touting his conservative credentials. He's also likely to tap his large personal fortune to hire staff and run ads.

"I wouldn't want to run against me," Scott told FOX 13 several weeks ago.

PREVIOUS: Democrats searching for candidate to go up against Sen. Rick Scott

But, Scott's previous wins were all by a point or less.

Mucarsel-Powell pledges to run on a woman's right to choose and to hammer Scott's plan, that he's since withdrawn, to reexamine Social Security and Medicare every five years.

"This is no longer the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan that welcomed me and my family in the 80s," said Mucarsel-Powell. "It's gone so far and so extreme to the right. We need to talk about real issues that affect these families."

Other Democrats who have announced their intention to run include former congressional candidate Phil Ehr, former Rep. Alan Grayson and Purple Heart recipient Rod Joseph.