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GOP Upbeat on Keeping Rubio's Senate Seat, But Battle Likely

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By    |   Monday, 04 May 2015 08:01 AM

The U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Florida's Marco Rubio as he pursues the 2016 GOP presidential nomination is up for grabs, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"I'm obviously not thrilled that Marco is not running again in Florida, but I think we can hold Florida," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Several well-known Florida state Republicans, however, have declined to run for Rubio's seat, among them Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, and former speaker of the Florida House Will Weatherford.

Rep. Tom Rooney, who represents Florida's 17th congressional district in Washington, also said he won't run, the Journal reported.

Among the Republicans reported to be thinking about entering the race are Reps. Ron DeSantis, Jeff Miller, and David Jolly.

"It's a real old-fashioned primary, with no perceived front-runner," said attorney Brian Ballard, who is active in state Republican politics. "A primary brings you the best candidate. If we have a strong nominee, we'll be in good shape no matter what," he told the Journal.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee will need to invest considerably more resources with Rubio out of contention. That might make less money available for senatorial races elsewhere, according to the Journal.

A Republican-turned-Democrat, Rep. Patrick Murphy, is seeking the Democratic nomination. Some progressives say Murphy may not be sufficiently committed to their agenda, the Journal reported. Republicans say he is pandering to progressives.

Murphy has countered that he is "fiscally responsible and socially progressive" — placing him "where most Floridians are," according to the Journal.

Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson is likely to enter the race. He has referred to Republicans as knuckle-dragging Neanderthals," according to the Journal.

The millionaire congressman has been involved in a messy divorce case, according to MSNBC.

Barack Obama twice carried the state. Florida's senior senator is three-term Democrat Bill Nelson.

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The U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Florida's Marco Rubio as he pursues the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is up for grabs, according to The Wall Street Journal.
marco rubio, senate, seat, gop, desantis, campaign
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2015-01-04
Monday, 04 May 2015 08:01 AM
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