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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Vern Buchanan leaving 'door open' to U.S. Senate run



vernbuchanan.jpgU.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan this morning confirmed the Buzz that he could still enter the race for U.S. Senate. Just not anytime soon.

"I'm going to leave the door open," said the Sarasota Republican, who is a member of the coveted Ways and Means Committee. "I think these races go on way too long. I've told everybody the same thing: I'm happy with what I'm doing but I'll take a hard look at it and make a decision towards the end of the year."

Buchanan said he's been encouraged by other Republicans. "Especially when (Mike) Haridopolos got out, they are looking for someone who can beat Bill Nelson. So my name popped up with, I'm sure, some others."

The current GOP primary field includes Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCalister and Craig Miller. "I know all of them. I think they're nice guys, who are somewhat talented," Buchanan said. "We'll just have to let the process play out. You have to make your own judgment. But people are looking around a little bit."

Rep. Allen West, who previously scoffed at talk that he would run, now says he's considering the race as well. Former Florida House Speaker Allan Bensesaid he was being courted, too, but sounded doubtful about a run.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:37pm]


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