MIAMI BEACH, FL - APRIL 21: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Marco Rubio speaks to the media before being introduced at the Latin American Business Association at the Fountain Blue hotel and resorts on April 21, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. Rubio has recently built a double-digit lead in the polls in his challenge to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for the GOP nomination. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Marco Rubio
Rubio signed qualifying papers Tuesday at a campaign event at Cooper Park near his West Miami home. Aides said the papers would be delivered later this week to the Florida Secretary of State's office in Tallahassee.
Friday is the deadline for candidates to qualify for the fall election ballot.
Rubio, former speaker of the Florida House, is challenging Republican Gov. Charlie Crist for the GOP Senate nomination. With Rubio holding a commanding lead in polls, Crist is considering whether to run as an independent or drop out.
Crist said he's set Thursday as a personal deadline to make up his mind on which way he'll go.
"I'd like to wrap it up," Crist told reporters Tuesday. When asked why he's thinking about running as an independent, Crist responded, "I don't know."
U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami has already qualified on the Democratic side.