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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bradenton developer Carlos Beruff is launching campaign for U.S. Senate



The race to replace U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is about to get more crowded.

Manatee County home builder Carlos Beruff confirms through a campaign video being released on Youtube this morning that he will run for Rubio's open Senate seat this year, joining a field that already includes four congressman, a business executive and the state's lieutenant governor.

Beruff, a multimillionaire Republican, will start his campaign in his hometown of Miami on Monday, then hold a rally later that same day in Manatee County where he started Medallion Homes in 1984.

In the two-minute and 19-second video, paid for by Carlos Beruff for Senate, the 58-year-old father of two pitches himself as a rags-to-riches story, rising from poverty to become president of Medallion Homes, which he says has built 2,500 homes in three counties in southwest Florida. Beruff notes he didn't finish college and went to work selling homes, which started him on his way.

Beruff's opponents have been bracing for his entrance for weeks by trying to label him a "Charlie Crist Republican," describing him as a political insider for his prolific campaign donating over the years, and questioning his business ethics after it was discovered some homes his company built included tainted Chinese drywall that resulted in a class-action lawsuit.

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[Last modified: Thursday, February 25, 2016 8:09am]


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