JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A stroke survivor is the latest candidate to enter the U.S. Senate race vying for the seat currently held by Republican Marco Rubio.
Democrat Coleman Watson, an Orlando attorney, just launched his campaign website.
He decided to run after he suffered a stroke in 2020 that left him with a language disorder called aphasia. In May, First Coast News reported on how it affected his ability to communicate but not his intelligence. After months of speech therapy at Brooks Rehabilitation Aphasia Center in Jacksonville he learned to talk again.
"I decided to run then, because of my stroke, and all my health care. I needed more help because of my speech, but the insurance does not cover it all, for not just me, but anyone. I needed my disability but we waited and waited and waited," Watson explained. "They denied me in full, and they said that I don't have a disability. So I had to think to do something because I had to go to file bankruptcy because of my medical bills. There was no process for bankruptcy for a medical reason."
He says he wants to go to Washington to fix what he says are broken systems.
"I think I was slapped for health care first. Then I was slapped again for the disability system. And I was slapped again for the bankruptcy system. And so I said I'm going to run because this is not it's not right, and I want to do something about it," Watson said.
Rubio is running for reelection and has raised the most money, according to filings with Federal Election Commission. Congresswoman Val Demings has raised the most money on the Democrat side.