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Leading U.S. Senate candidate thinks Marco Rubio will run again for Senate


A leading candidate in the U.S. Senate race to replace Marco Rubio said Friday that he thinks it is all but certain that Rubio is getting back into the contest under increasing pressure from Senate leadership.

“I think all signs are pointing to him running,” U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, said in an interview with the Times/Herald.

Those signs he said includes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell going on national television to talk about his efforts to draft Rubio to run for re-election, plus Rubio’s refusal to outright endorse his personal friend Carlos Lopez-Cantera in the Senate race.

Jolly said he has no direct knowledge from Rubio himself, but said he expects the pressure on Rubio to only increase when the Senate is back in session next week. He said by next Friday, he expects Rubio will signal what he plans to do. He has to decide by June 24, the last day to qualify in Florida to be on the ballot.

If Rubio gets in, Jolly said he’s dropping out of the Senate race. He said he got into the race originally because it was an open seat. He said he has no interest in taking on an incumbent like Rubio.

Other Republican candidates have refused to say they'll step aside if Rubio gets into the race. Manatee County homebuilder Carlos Beruff and Orlando businessman Todd Wilcox have both said they won't get out of the race even if Rubio changes his mind and runs for the Senate again.