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Sink not running for Senate

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is expected to announce today that she's not running for the U.S. Senate, opening the field to a crop of lesser-known contenders.

Sink, the only statewide officeholder on the Democratic shortlist, was seen as the party's strongest contender for the seat to be vacated by Mel Martinez in 2010. She was being recruited by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and Emily's List, a national fundraising group that backs female candidates.

Sink's decision means she is likely to pursue her real ambition, which is to run for governor -- most likely in 2014 when term limits will force Charlie Crist to step down.

So far, Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami is the only declared candidate for the open Senate seat, but announcements are imminent from Democratic state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach and former House Speaker Marco Rubio of Miami, a Republican.

Now the big question is whether the Republican primary will include a statewide officeholder: Will Attorney General Bill McCollum run for the office that has eluded him twice before? If not, this race is truly up for grabs.