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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Reaction to Jeb announcement



U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez: “I understand his decision. Jeb would have been a great candidate and senator. The good news is that Republicans still hold the advantage with a deep field of potential candidates.”

Florida Democratic Chairwoman Karen Thurman: ""It is clear that Florida will be a central battleground in the 2010 election. Over the past several years, Democrats have made major gains in Florida winning three of the six statewide elections. On November 2, 2010, Florida will be electing another strong Democrat to the U.S. Senate, who will work to implement President-elect Barack Obama's vision of change and join Sen. Bill Nelson in representing the Sunshine State in the tradition of Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles."

State GOP Chairman Jim Greer: “While we are disappointed in former Governor Bush’s decision not to seek this U.S. Senate seat, Florida Republicans can rest assured that we have a number of outstanding potential candidates. Under the leadership of Republicans like Senator Mel Martinez, former Governor Bush, and Governor Charlie Crist, the Republican Party of Florida has created a formidable cadre of qualified candidates for higher office, and we look forward to seeing their ideas for the future—including lowering taxes on families and businesses and reigning in government spending—in action during a spirited campaign.”

Former House Speaker Marco Rubio: "Obviously, I'm disappointed. (But) I trust his decision-making process and his ability to make the right decision for him and his family...The U.S. Senate is an opportunity that I'm going to seriously explore and will make a decision within the next two weeks."

Former Florida House Speaker John Thrasher: "When Mel made his announcement it seemed like at the time like a great opportunity to give back. And then I think (Jeb) took a step back and evaluated his life and his family and where he is. It just wasn't the right time to do it...Bill McCollum's a formidable guy."

GOP bundler Mark Guzzetta: " I take solace in knowing that Jeb is smarter than I so there must be bigger and better plan. Jeb will stay relevent by the power of his ideas...There's no doubt in my mind he would have won. without him in the race i think it's still very competitive for us."

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:11pm]


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