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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

U.S. Senate candidate to Marco Rubio: make decision fast

16

June

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis made clearer during a talk radio interview that he has no interest in running for the U.S. Senate if fellow Republican Marco Rubio decides to run for re-election afterall.

DeSantis, a Republican from Ponte Vedra Beach, has been the most prolific fundraiser in the GOP primary battle to replace Rubio, but acknowledge Rubio’s indecision hanging over the race has “made it more difficult for guys like me.”

“Look, Marco’s a good Senator,” DeSantis told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “Had he announced from the beginning that he was going to run for reelection, I would not have run. I would have supported him.”

DeSantis, a Navy veteran and attorney, said his only request is for Rubio to make a decision quickly so others in the field can respond.

“And I just think it’s better for everyone if this decision is made sooner rather than later,” DeSantis said.

It was on Hewitt’s show on Monday morning when Rubio said the Orlando mass shooting gave him “pause to think” about how he can serve his country. When Hewitt pressed him to reconsider running for the Senate, Rubio didn’t say no.

Two other Republican candidates in the race say they won’t back out of the race even if Rubio gets back in. Both Orlando businessman and Army veteran Todd Wilcox and Manatee County homebuilder Carlos Beruff have said they intend to keep running.

Here’s the full exchange between Hewitt and DeSantis this morning courtesy of a transcript from the Hugh Hewitt radio show:

Hewitt: Now Congressman, people know I’ve endorsed you for the United States Senate race. It’s an open primary right now. A lot of people are in it. At the same time, two days ago on this program, Senator Rubio indicated he is rethinking that. What’s your reaction to that? What will you do if he enters the race?

DeSantis: Well, I happened to hear about that once you did it. Look, Marco’s a good Senator. Had he announced from the beginning that he was going to run for reelection, I would not have run. I would have supported him. And I don’t know what he’s going to do. I have no inside knowledge at all. And obviously, if he makes a decision to run, that changes a lot about how I look at the race, but I think the important thing is that if there’s a decision made, it should be made quickly, because I think what’s happened is a lot of the rumors over the last several weeks have made it more difficult for guys like me to get, continue on the path of success. And I just think it’s better for everyone if this decision is made sooner rather than later. Even if Marco runs, I mean, he’s going to want to have the opportunity to ramp back up. So I know no more than you, and I’ll wait and see what happens.

[Last modified: Thursday, June 16, 2016 11:41am]

    

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