Rubio may drop FL senate challenge to seek AG post

It's not that he's so far behind Governor Charlie Crist at this point that is giving Marco Rubio, the conservative challenger to replace retiring senator Mel Martinez, second thoughts about running for the senate. It appears that another opportunity for statewide office is beckoning.

The National Journal's Congress Daily has the details:

Two Republican sources said today that even as former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio campaigns for retiring GOP Sen. Mel Martinez's Senate seat, he has been calling around to top Republican donors and activists in the state to discuss the idea of switching from the Senate primary against GOP Gov. Charlie Crist and into the open-seat race for attorney general, where a serious Republican candidate has yet to emerge.

First of all, this is not surprising. Given the betrayal of the Republican Senatorial Committee in endorsing Crist in the primary, Rubio's chances of getting the GOP nomination were always long. Meanwhile, he would appear to have a relatively easy time getting the nomination for AG while his name recognition would probably give him a very good chance of winning in the general election.

Secondly, Rubio is still very young (he's only 38) and despite raising an impressive $350,000 so far, finds himself far behind Crist who has always been a money machine.  Crist has raised an eye popping $4.3 million in just 50 days which just goes to show you what happens when the Republican establishment gets behind a candidate.

So Rubio appears to have a choice between a long shot bid for senator or a relatively easy path to statewide office via the Attorney General race. From there, he can run for governor or senator over the next decade and position himself as a national party leader from an important state.

If this story pans out, it will be a disappointment. A Rubio-Crist race would have had national implications and helped define the party in 2012. It will be interesting to see which way the attractive young conservative Rubio jumps.


It's not that he's so far behind Governor Charlie Crist at this point that is giving Marco Rubio, the conservative challenger to replace retiring senator Mel Martinez, second thoughts about running for the senate. It appears that another opportunity for statewide office is beckoning.

The National Journal's Congress Daily has the details:

Two Republican sources said today that even as former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio campaigns for retiring GOP Sen. Mel Martinez's Senate seat, he has been calling around to top Republican donors and activists in the state to discuss the idea of switching from the Senate primary against GOP Gov. Charlie Crist and into the open-seat race for attorney general, where a serious Republican candidate has yet to emerge.

First of all, this is not surprising. Given the betrayal of the Republican Senatorial Committee in endorsing Crist in the primary, Rubio's chances of getting the GOP nomination were always long. Meanwhile, he would appear to have a relatively easy time getting the nomination for AG while his name recognition would probably give him a very good chance of winning in the general election.

Secondly, Rubio is still very young (he's only 38) and despite raising an impressive $350,000 so far, finds himself far behind Crist who has always been a money machine.  Crist has raised an eye popping $4.3 million in just 50 days which just goes to show you what happens when the Republican establishment gets behind a candidate.

So Rubio appears to have a choice between a long shot bid for senator or a relatively easy path to statewide office via the Attorney General race. From there, he can run for governor or senator over the next decade and position himself as a national party leader from an important state.

If this story pans out, it will be a disappointment. A Rubio-Crist race would have had national implications and helped define the party in 2012. It will be interesting to see which way the attractive young conservative Rubio jumps.