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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sink, Rubio, McCollum ponder Senate race



U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez's abrupt decision to not seek re-election could have a titanic effect on Florida politics. Here's one of the first signs: Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who would be considered a formidable Democratic candidate, is reassessing. quoted an anonymous source Monday as saying Sink would seek re-election as CFO, rather than run for governor or Senate in 2010, and hours later, Martinez announced he won't run. The Florida Democratic Party was expected to issue a statement Tuesday confirming that but it didn't happen. Said Sink's spokeswoman, Tara Klimek: "I can tell you that she's not ready to talk about her future."

Sink beat Republican Tom Lee in the 2006 CFO race. She has 28 years of banking experience, is from the vital I-4 corridor, and is well-liked in the business community. A Sink candidacy would narrow the field of Democratic candidates in a hurry.

On the other side, another possible U.S. Senate hopeful, Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum, says he'll take a serious look at a race in 2010. McCollum lost Senate bids in 2000 and 2004 (to Martinez in the primary) and says he loves his current job, but he spent 20 years in Congress and enjoyed serving there. "I haven't thought seriously about it," McCollum said. "I'm going to have to take a serious look at it, and I will over the next few weeks."

And there's also former House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-Miami. "For quite some time, I've had an interest in running for statewide office. The announcement today creates a number of opportunities and I’m going to look at those over the next few days and make an announcement." Rubio appears to have been laying the groundwork for a run, establishing a YouTube site and obtaining a not-yet-live Web site, He has also spread his name by getting involved with GOPAC.

Steve Bousquet and Alex Leary, Times Staff Writers


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:49pm]


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