Which big name politicians are chomping at the bit for a shot to replace Marco Rubio?

Florida politics couldn’t be any hotter.

Although U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio isn’t expected to announce his plans for 2016 until sometime in April, hopefuls from both parties are already testing the waters for a bid to take over the Florida Republican’s seat.

Source: www.youngcons.com

Here’s the way it’s shaping up so far.

On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who, in 2012 managed to wrest control of the congressional seat held by Allen West, is is emerging as his party leadership’s favorite, according to Politico.

This is due, in large part, to the appeal his centrist political views would have in a swing state. Florida is the largest in the country.

Although Murphy isn’t expected to officially announce until later this month, his candidacy is almost a certainty — reportedly even if Rubio decides to retain his seat.

Another is former Gov. Charlie Crist, who was trounced by Rubio in the 2010 Senate contest. When it became apparent Rubio would overtake Crist in the GOP primary, Crist changed affiliation to Independent and lost in the general election. He has since joined the Democratic Party.

Although Crist is “making calls,” according to Politico, those close to him deny it.

Democratic National Committee Chair, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has recently been the subject of Senate run rumors. While her congressional seat is likely safe, her abrasiveness makes her an unlikely candidate for a state-wide election.

On the GOP side, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is relying on a poll showing his strength against both Murphy and Wasserman Schultz in considering a run, according to Marc Caputo reporting for Politico.

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a Rubio neighbor, confidante and close friend, is reportedly considering a run. According to Politico:

Lopez-Cantera, elected last year along with Gov. Rick Scott, would not comment. Allies say it’s likely that both Rubio and Scott have privately voiced their approval, but also that they might not endorse in a primary – especially if it’s against Atwater.

“I know Carlos is seriously considering a Senate run. He is keeping all his options open,” state Sen. Anitere Flores, a Miami Republican who’s friends with both men, told Politico.

Neither Atwater nor Lopez-Cantera would have to abandon their present offices in order to run for the Senate. However, Florida law prohibits an individual from running for two offices on the same ballot, meaning both Rubio and Murphy would have to decide.

The presidency or the Senate for Rubio; the House seat or the Senate for Murphy.


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