- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio’s GOP colleagues are asking him to run for re-election, saying he should cancel his retirement plans and ensure his Florida seat remains under Republican control.

Mr. Rubio, who is closing out his first term, has shown renewed interest in his Senate job since his presidential bid flamed out. He’s been deeply involved in a number of major debates and personal causes, including the Zika virus funding fight and U.S. relations with Latin America.

And with the Florida candidate filing deadline still a month away, he’s under increasing pressure to run again.

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,” Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee said in a statement Thursday.

Mr. Rubio had moments of success in the Republican presidential primary, but dropped out the night he failed to win Florida’s primary, which Donald Trump won easily.

It appeared to be a devastating blow to Mr. Rubio’s political career, and he said he welcomed the end of his Senate term and his upcoming return to private life. He had ruled out a possible bid for governor in 2018.

The race to succeed Mr. Rubio in Florida is already heated and nasty. On the Democratic side, two current members of the U.S. House are engaged in a bitter feud, with one of them, Rep. Alan Grayson, aligning with Sen. Bernard Sanders’ wing of the party, and the other, Rep. Patrick Murphy, amassing a more centrist record.

Among Republicans, the battle is wide-open, with several sitting members of the House, a local businessman and the state’s lieutenant governor all seeking the spot.

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