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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Putnam: Not interested in Senate seat



U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, one of Florida's brightest Republican stars, says you can scratch him off that list of potential candidates to fill Mel Martinez's U.S. Senate seat.

"I am not giving serious consideration to the Senate seat," he tells Buzz. "You could say my interests lie elsewhere."

Like where? Ag commissioner? Governor? Lt. governor? Well, for now, his Bartow-area House seat, which includes part of Hillsborough County. Putnam, 34, decided not to run for reelection as chairman of the House Republican Conference, the third-highest GOP job there, to focus on legislating, particularly on the Financial Services Committee, which oversees the banking and insurance industries.

"I think I'd leave it at that for now," he said.

Martinez announced that he will not seek reelection in 2010. Potential Republican candidates include former Gov. Jeb Bush and Rep. Connie Mack, son of the former senator, while the possible Dem list includes CFO Alex Sink and Rep. Allen Boyd.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:09pm]


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