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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Carlos Lopez-Cantera: Marco should run for re-election



Carlos Lopez-Cantera this afternoon issued a statement confirming he asked Marco Rubio run for re-election, declaring, “as friends for 20 years, this race is so much bigger than the two of us.”

Lopez-Cantera told Politico that he’d asked Rubio after seeing him in Orlando on Sunday. "I am still in this race and nothing has changed. However, if Marco decides to enter this race, I will not be filing the paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate.” The filing deadline is June 24.

Rubio this morning refused to answer questions about the matter. This afternoon, however, he acknowledged his talk with Lopez-Cantera.

"Obviously I take very seriously everything that's going on, not just to Orlando but in our country," he said. "I've enjoyed 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 chance in our status, I'll be sure to let everyone know."

Rubio may not clear the Repubican field.

Chris Hartline, a spokesman for Carlos Beruff said, "Nothing has changed. Carlos is staying in the race. He will continue to run for the Senate."

He sent out a release earlier in the day that said: Carlos Beruff has travelled to all 67 counties in Florida, and the people of Florida have made one thing abundantly clear: they value real world experience more than political experience. They’re sick of career politicians and power-brokers in Washington who care about one thing: holding on to power. But the voters of Florida will not obey them. They don’t get to pick our candidates.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Wilcox reiterated on Wednesday that even if Marco Rubio changes his mind and seeks re-election, he'll stay in the race and take him on.

Wilcox, an Orlando businessman and Army veteran, said he was already prepared to take on other "career politicians" and "political insiders" so Rubio entering the Republican Primary for U.S. Senate wouldn't change anything for him.

"If he gets in that contrast that exists with me and the other four candidates still exists," Wilcox said in Tallahassee on Wednesday as he filed his qualifying papers to run for the seat Rubio said last year he would not seek re-election to so he could instead run for president.

Wilcox said brushed off the idea that Rubio should reconsider given his experience in the Senate dealing with international terrorism topics. "If there's some secret sauce he's had in his pocket for the last five years to fight this war on terror, then bring it out," Wilcox said.

He noted Rubio lost 66 of 67 counties to Donald Trump during the presidential primary in March

Wilcox filed his qualifying papers on Wednesday - five days before the qualifying period begins - to show his supporters that he is not wavering in his resolve to run regardless of what Rubio decides to do. "I'm in this to win," Wilcox said with a half-dozen supporters who accompanied him to the Florida Secretary of State's Office to file his papers.

"I'm in it to the very end."

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 10:24pm]


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