Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who pledged for months not to seek re-election to the Senate, told reporters Wednesday that he is rethinking that decision and could enter the race as soon as next week.
Rubio told The Washington Post
that his decision followed a Sunday conversation with his friend Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who is running to succeed him in the Senate.
The two men talked in Orlando at the scene of Sunday's deadly terrorist attack.
“Obviously, I take very seriously everything that’s going on — not just Orlando, but in our country,” Rubio said, according to the Post. “I enjoy my service here a lot. So I’ll go home later this week, and I’ll have some time with my family, and then if there’s been a change in our status I’ll be sure to let everyone know.”
Meanwhile, the man running for Rubio's Senate seat said he will end his campaign if Rubio decides he wants to pursue another term.
According to Politico,
Lopez-Cantera is prepared to abandon his own senatorial hopes.
The pair, who have been friends for two decades, had a conversation Sunday evening near the scene of the Orlando terror attack. During the chat, Lopez-Cantera said he would end his Senate campaign if the ex-presidential candidate decides to pursue another term in Washington.
"This is bigger than me. And this isn't about me. And it's not about you. It's about our country and this election," Lopez-Cantera recalled telling Rubio.
"It's deeply consequential … In the current field, I'm the best candidate in the general election. But I'm not looking at this through rose-colored glasses."
Lopez-Cantera has been running for Rubio's Senate seat for more than a year, and his friend has supported him every step of the way. When Rubio's presidential bid ended in March, he reiterated his stance that he will not seek reelection.
Still, high-ranking members of the GOP want Rubio and his strong political background to remain in the Senate.
There have been reports that Rubio and Lopez-Cantera are working on a pact, one of which includes Rubio running for reelection, maintaining his seat, and then resigning ahead of the 2020 presidential election, at which point Lopez-Cantera would seek the vacant Senate seat.
"There is no deal. There is no plan," Lopez-Cantera told Politico. "None of it is true. Anyone who says that is lying and doesn't know what they're talking about."
A poll earlier this month
found that roughly half of Florida voters would like to see Rubio run for reelection.
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