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GOP Florida primary thinned out after Rubio announcement

WASHINGTON – Senator Marco Rubio announced Wednesday that he has  reversed his decision and will run for re-election after meeting with Florida Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantra.

Rubio is the favorite to represent the GOP in November. U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race and will run for re-election, a decision U.S. Rep. David Jolly made last Friday as it became more obvious that Rubio was leaning toward running again. Rubio acknowledged that this will be a tough race to win.

I have no illusions about how tough this race will be,” Rubio said. “It’s Florida in a presidential election year and a very unusual presidential election year, so it will be a tough race and I’m prepared for that.”

Rubio is facing a showdown with Florida businessman Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff. Beruff said Rubio’s last minute decision is a reason he should not be elected.

He’s a guy who has become part of the thing he ran against six years ago. The Washington establishment has made him break promises that he made. If you don’t stand by word and your handshake, what do you stand for?”

Beruff has spent more than $4 million of his own money on television ads. Rubio was a little known former state House speaker when he used tea party support to topple then Republican Gov. Charlie Crist in the 2010 Senate race despite Crist beginning the race with far more money and the backing of the Washington GOP establishment.

Wilcox, is also largely self-financing his campaign but has not spent as much as Beruff. If he wins the primary, Rubio will face either U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy or U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, neither of whom are switching their election plans.

Murphy likened Rubio’s decision to an employee who says he hates his job, leaves, and then wants it back when he doesn’t get the job he was hoping for.

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