While the presidential primary in Florida rages over Newt Gingrich's profitable work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac and millionaire Mitt Romney's tax report, the state's wealthy Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is quietly dumping his $1.9 million Washington condo in advance of his reelection campaign.
A spokesman said that the senator is "downsizing" by selling his Arlington, Virginia condo that overlooks the Iwo Jima Memorial and Georgetown.
If he gets the asking price of $1,995,000, Nelson would recoup a profit of $835,000. He paid $1,160,000 for the condo in 2003. Arlington County, Virginia, recently assessed the glamorous spread at $1,499,900, down from a high of $1,621,200 in 2007.
In a campaign year where personal wealth and real estate are fast becoming big issues, especially in foreclosure-ravaged Florida, Nelson's move to sell his three-bedroom Virginia condo could be a political master stroke that removes a key issue before he engages in what is expected to be a tough reelection.
The fourth floor condo was momentarily controversial in Nelson's last election. In 2006, he denied reports that he wanted to cut trees down so he could see off his fourth-floor balcony.
In recent polls, he is nearly even with Rep. Connie Mack, who leads in the GOP Senate primary. Mack is the son of former Sen. Connie Mack and his great-grandfather is legendary Hall of Fame baseball manager Connie Mack.
Owning expensive condos is standard fare for Washington political leaders. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lives across the Potomac from Nelson in a riverfront building, where condos sell for about $1.6 million. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a $1 million condo at Washington's Ritz-Carlton.
Nelson's tops those with its pricetag of $1,995,000. It also comes with a monthly condo fee of $2,021 and annual taxes of $13,301.
According to the description from realtor Washington Fine Properties LLC, it includes "exterior building maintenance, gas, heat, management, master insurance policy, parking fee, reserve funds, security, sewer, snow removal and trash removal."
Washington Fine Properties describes the condo this way: "Stunning and elegant, this light-filled three bedroom and two and one half-bath luxury condominium has 2,749 square feet of living area in highly sought-after Memorial Overlook. Offering uncompromising details throughout, this home includes a sophisticated foyer with two domed ceiling gold leaf insets, a gourmet kitchen with connecting butler pantry and a gracious living room that opens to the formal dining room. This extraordinary residence features a wrap around balcony, private wooded views from every room as well as seasonal views of the Iwo Jima Memorial, Georgetown and the District."