POLITICS

Marco Rubio Decides To Run For Senate Again

It was a last-minute decision.
Marco Rubio has decided to run for re-election.
Marco Rubio has decided to run for re-election.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Wednesday he would run for re-election, after previously stating he would return to private life after his current term ended.

Rubio announced his decision just ahead of Florida's June 24 filing deadline.

The senator, who ran a failed campaign for president this year, said in March that he would not run for re-election to the Senate, nor for governor of Florida in 2018.

He has even spoken about his displeasure with his time in the Senate.

“I don’t know that ‘hate’ is the right word,” Rubio told The Washington Post in October. “I’m frustrated.”

Rubio acknowledged the change of heart while announcing his re-election bid. 

 

Rubio said in a statement announcing his decision that he found the prospect of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the White House "worrisome."

"It is no secret that I have significant disagreements with Donald Trump. His positions on many key issues are still unknown," Rubio said. "And some of his statements, especially about women and minorities, I find not just offensive but unacceptable."

Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a friend of Rubio's who had been campaigning for his Senate seat, told Rubio on June 12 that he should reconsider running in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, according to Politico:

Lopez-Cantera made clear he was still fully committed to running, even as he initiated a gut-check moment for both of them. Until then, Rubio had resisted the entreaties of Senate leaders and donors to rethink retiring from the Senate. Lopez-Cantera’s conversation removed one of the biggest obstacles to Rubio running again: a longtime friendship that he wouldn’t want to ruin due to political ambition.

“I don’t want you to feel like you have to say that because of outside pressure,” Rubio responded.

But Lopez-Cantera says he felt “compelled” to continue talking it through. The two of them were shaken by what they saw in Orlando, the bloody sidewalks and the ashen faces of local, state and federal authorities.

Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.), who had also been running for Rubio's seat, announced on Friday he was dropping out of the race, saying he would focus instead on a re-election bid for the House. Jolly had said he would step aside if Rubio ultimately ran for re-election.

CNN reported in May that top Republican officials who worried the party might lose Rubio's seat to Democrats in 2016 had encouraged the senator to run for re-election. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters he thought it "would be a great idea" for Rubio to run again.

"I think it's as close to universal as you can get around here," Cornyn said of Senate Republicans' view on the matter.

Rubio launched his presidential campaign in April 2015 and dropped out of the race in March 2016, after losing the GOP primary in his home state to Trump.

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