State Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, withdrew from his Senate re-election bid this morning. We haven't heard from him yet, but other legislative leaders said they aren't surprised by the news because ethical challenges have dogged the senator and opponents were lining up to challenge him.
Sen. Jack Latvala said he talked to Norman and knew his colleague would be withdrawing. Latvala, a Clearwater Republican, said he feels the decision is best for Norman.
“I think he just needs to start thinking about his future and providing for his family. Anything he does as long as he’s in public life, you know you guys are just going to be on him," Latvala said to the Times/Herald.
"And every newspaper story and ever story about him is going to start with him: 'Norman, comma, who did this, that and the other.' I just think he came to the end of the line with that and came to the realization that it would be better for him to get into private life and get out of public life,” Latvala said.
There are three Republicans who are remaining in the District 17 Senate race, including state Rep. John Legg, who has received several high-profile endorsements. The others are John Korsak and former state Rep. Rob Wallace.
Read more about Norman's decision to bow out of the race here.