U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, is dropping out of the Senate race in favor of a re-election bid in northeast Florida.
Following news this morning that Sen. Marco Rubio would seek re-election, DeSantis said in a statement that the "contours" of the race were changed and that the incumbent was a "strong bet to win."
DeSantis launched his Senate run after Rubio declared he would not try for re-election if he lost his presidential primary bid. And congressional redistricting shifted the lines near Jacksonville, moving his hometown to the 4th District and leaving most of his constituents in the 6th District, which he currently represents.
"In light of the Rubio development, I can best advance the cause by running for reelection to the U.S. House in the 6th Congressional District, where I can continue protecting taxpayers, promoting economic growth, helping our veterans, and supporting our military," DeSantis said in a statement.
The announcement makes him the third candidate to clear out and make room for Rubio. Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and U.S. Rep. David Jolly also backed out of the Republican Senate primary. Two millionaire businessmen, Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff, are staying in the race to challenge Rubio.