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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

About that talk of Vern Buchanan jumping into Fla Senate race....



buchanan_ek9a.jpgThe chatter and speculation about Vern Buchanan preparing for a U.S. Senate run has been widespread since Mike Haridopolos dropped out of the race. Forget it. The people we've talked to in Buchanan world say talk of an imminent announcement by Buchanan is nonsense.

It's not that he's completely ruled it out, but the Sarasota Republican's personal wealth - estimated at up to $366 million - allows him plenty of time to start mounting a campaign. He's likely to make a final decision no earlier than the end of the year.

In the meantime, the Buchanan thinking appears unchanged: He's the only Floridian with a plum spot on Ways and Means, and that makes the prospect of being a freshman senator less appealing than it otherwise would be. Whether Florida Senate President Haridopolos is in or out of the race makes no difference.

It's a reflection of the lack of confidence in the current field of Republicans vying to take on Democrat Bill Nelson that we continue to hear widespread speculation about another self-funder getting in the race, whether it's NewsMax founder Chris Ruddy or crispy onion crunch hawker/Sophia Vergara boy toy Nick Loeb, or someone else.

[Last modified: Monday, August 1, 2011 5:16pm]


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