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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio's big decision: Re-election or presidential campaign

Sen. Marco Rubio

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Sen. Marco Rubio



Marco Rubio is facing the most consequential decision of his political career since entering the U.S. Senate campaign that made him a national figure: to seek re-election or to run for president.

The next 12 months will shape his choice and it comes with an intriguing twist because both offices are open in 2016.

Florida law bars a federal candidate from appearing twice on the same ballot but Rubio can essentially chase the presidency without surrendering the safer re-election campaign.

"The question for anyone in public office is, 'Is there another place from which I can pursue these things I believe in and be even more effective?' " the Republican senator said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times.

He says he'll reach a conclusion around this time next year, but he'll have to drop strong clues this year.

"I really can't tell you today where I'll be. A lot can change between now and then."

The uncertainly belies a carefully planned, if not always seen, effort by Rubio and his team to position for a presidential bid. He has raised millions through his Reclaim America PAC, investing in consultants and growing a national donor base. Rubio also has been meeting with top fundraisers in New York, California, Florida and other moneyed states.

Story here.

[Last modified: Sunday, January 19, 2014 3:24pm]


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