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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rep. Tom Rooney: Unless Marco Rubio runs, Democrats probably win Florida Senate race

Marco Rubio came pretty close to finally closing the door another run for U.S. Senate by agreeing to host a fundraiser for his friend, Senate candidate and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera on June 24, the final day for candidates to qualify for that office. But the pressure on Rubio to step up (and less directly for CLC to step aside) continues.

"Our ability to keep a majority in the Senate hangs in the balance, so we really can't afford to lose any seats. And in a purple state in a presidential year, I think Patrick Murphy wins that seat unless we have an incumbent running. It's politics 101," said said U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, noting that Democratic candidate Murphy already has President Obama and Vice President Biden campaigning on his behalf in Florida.

He said he doesn't mean to knock the five Republicans already running, but unless one of them starts to show any sign of breaking out "we would be basically giving up that seat" without Rubio running.

Rooney said he has texted Rubio, urging him to seriously consider another term. No response.

[Last modified: Thursday, June 9, 2016 7:32am]


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