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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Boyd serious about Senate race



BoydU.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, is seriously considering a run for the Senate and will make up his mind by mid January. He didn't say it, but his tone in a phone conversation a few minutes ago sounded to us like a candidate more likely than not to jump in.

"I want a good partner for President-elect Obama in the United States Senate from Florida,'' said Boyd, 63, a 12-year incumbent and former state House member.

He said he is talking with family, prospective donors, and others as part of his due diligence, and weighing whether he wants to leave a job he enjoys. He has been talked about as a potential candidate for agriculture commissioner or governor, but Boyd said the Senate is the only new office he's really considering.

He said the decision this week by Republican Mel Martinez not to seek reelection in 2010 didn't change his plans, but "obviously changed the dynamics."

Other potential Democrats include CFO Alex Sink, state Sen. Dan Gelber, and -- at least according to growing political chatter -- Betty Castor. Asked about Sink, a fellow moderate and friend, Boyd implied he and Sink would work it out.

"I would never want to see two folks who would serve this state well ever run against each other in a primary," he said.

Boyd, a farmer, is a leader within the congressional Blue Dogs, a group of moderate and conservative Democrats mostly from rural and Southern districts. Its ranks have grown in the past two congressional elections, at the expense of Republicans, and Boyd's clout has grown with them.

Having raised money and campaigned for dozens of House members, Boyd has lots of chits to cash in, and would likely be a strong fundraiser. He also serves on the House Appropriations Committee, whose members tend to draw cash like bees to honey.

Adam Smith and Wes Allison, Times Staff Writers


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:08pm]


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