After facing pressure to reconsider his decision not to run for re-election, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday he might run again for the Senate this year after all.
The Republican, who unsuccessfully sought his party’s nomination for president, had planned to retire from Congress this year.
“Obviously, I take very seriously everything that’s going on — not just Orlando, but in our country,” Rubio told reporters at the Capitol. “I’ve enjoyed my service here a lot. So I’ll go home later this week, and I’ll have some time with my family, and then if there’s been a change in our status I’ll be sure to let everyone know.”
The filing deadline is next week on June 24. Rubio has resisted getting in, citing his friendship with Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who has been running to replace him.
But on Wednesday, Lopez-Cantera told Politico he encouraged Rubio, in light of the Orlando terrorist attack, to re-consider his decision. He said he would leave the race if Rubio ran.
“The report earlier today is accurate,” Rubio said. “Carlos and I had a conversation on Sunday in Orlando before I left.”
A number of other Republicans have been running for the Senate, including Rep. David Jolly, Rep. Ron DeSantis and businessmen Carlos Beruff and Todd Wilcox.
In recent weeks, Rubio has been encouraged by his fellow Republican senators to reconsider his decision now that he has dropped out of the presidential race.
“Marco Rubio is a very valuable member of the Senate – especially in his role on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he demonstrates a deep understanding of foreign policy – and earlier this afternoon, I strongly encouraged him to reconsider his decision and seek re-election,” Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker said.
On Wednesday, Rubio hinted he may be willing to change his mind, telling radio host Hugh Hewitt the Orlando attack could influence his thinking on his future political career: “I think when this is your home state, when it impacts the community you know well, it really gives you pause to think a little bit about, you know, your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country.”