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Carlos Lopez-Cantera gave Marco Rubio go-ahead to run

The last piece in the puzzling picture of whether Marco Rubio will seek re-election to the U.S. Senate may have fallen into place Wednesday when his friend, and chosen successor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, said he thinks Rubio should run.

Lopez-Cantera, the lieutenant governor from Miami, told Politico that he encouraged Rubio to run as they sat in Rubio’s pickup truck in Orlando Sunday evening.

“You should reconsider running for your seat,” Lopez-Cantera said he told Rubio.

Rubio replied: “I don’t want you to feel like you have to say that because of outside pressure.”

Lopez-Cantera told Politico: “Nothing has changed. I’m still running. Marco isn’t.”

It was a sharp change of tone from Monday, when Lopez-Cantera refused to comment on Rubio’s remarks earlier that day that indicated the first-term U.S. senator from West Miami was reconsidering his decision not to run for re-election.

“I won’t comment on that,” Lopez-Cantera said at the time. He then refused to answer questions about his role in Orlando this week in the aftermath of the shooting.

On Wednesday afternoon, Lopez-Cantera put out a statement: “I have asked Sen. Marco Rubio to reconsider his decision and enter the Senate race. The decision is his and his alone to make. As friends for 20 years, this race is so much bigger than the two of us, and, as you have heard me say on the trail, this race isn’t about an individual, this race is about Florida and the future of our country. I am still in this race and nothing has changed."

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