Short-timer Marco Rubio will carry on a Florida political tradition
Despite unyielding pressure from his Capitol Hill colleagues, it appears that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio won't seek re-election, and his decision to walk away from the world's most exclusive club is part of a Florida political tradition. With a single exception, nobody has stuck around very long, and Florida's stature has suffered as a result.
Rubio is the seventh person to occupy this particular Senate seat in the past 50 years, an exceedingly high rate of turnover. Only the venerable Bob Graham has held the seat for more than one term since the mid-1960s (Graham, a Democrat, served three terms from 1986 to 2004).
Rubio succeeded George LeMieux, who replaced Mel Martinez. Before Graham, the seat was occupied by Paula Hawkins, Dick Stone and Ed Gurney. By comparison, Florida's other Senate seat has had stable representation: Bill Nelson is in his third term, Connie Mack served two terms before Nelson and Lawton Chiles served three terms before Mack.
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