- The Washington Times - Friday, June 24, 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio’s field of rivals in the GOP primary thinned Friday following Todd Wilcox’s decision to drop his bid — setting up a two-person race between the incumbent and businessman Carlos Beruff.

Mr. Wilcox said Mr. Rubio is the party’s best bet to defend the seat in the November election.

“There is no doubt that Republican control of the Senate is the only way to preserve the constitutional integrity of our Supreme Court, realign our military’s force structure and ensure the basic freedoms and liberties that make ours the greatest country in the world,” Mr. Wilcox said in a statement, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

“Senator Rubio and I don’t agree on everything. We’ve traveled different paths, but I respect his grasp of the challenges we face and I appreciate the reality that he, as the incumbent, is best positioned to defeat either Patrick Murphy or Alan Grayson in November,” he said.

Mr. Beruff responded to the news in an email blast, saying Mr. Wilcox’s exit means that voters will have a clear choice in the primary race.

“The voters of Florida can re-elect Washington’s candidate, who has consistently failed to do the job they hired him to do and won’t commit to serving a full six-year term. Or they can make a change,” Mr. Beruff said.

“I’m not a politician. I’m a businessman who wants to bring a business mindset to the problems facing our country and our state,” he said. “It’s simple. Do you want a senator who puts politics and their own ambition first? Or do you want a senator who puts Florida first?”

Mr. Rubio reversed course this week by announcing he is running for re-election after vowing not to do so during his failed White House bid.

The decision chased Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Cantera, as well as Reps. David Jolly and Ron DeSantis from the race.

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