The Republican Party is supplying $2.5 million in advertising support to Marco Rubio's Senate campaign in Florida, a sizable commitment to a candidate the party once tried to push out of the contest.
The money from the National Republican Senatorial Committee is the maximum the party can spend in coordination with Rubio. A party official said the money will be devoted to television ads at a time that is agreeable to Rubio's campaign.
Rubio is in a three-way contest with Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and Gov. Charlie Crist, a former Republican now running as an independent. Crist had been the GOP's chosen candidate in the race until Rubio, a tea party-backed candidate, outdistanced Crist in the polls.
Rubio could use the money. His latest campaign finance report, filed last month, showed $4.5 million cash on hand, compared to $8 million for Crist. Meek reported $2.6 million in the bank.
For the NRSC, the financial support represents the second infusion of money into a tight Senate contest. Last week it agreed to spend $3.4 million in the Senate race in Illinois in coordination with Republican candidate Rep. Mark Kirk.
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