One year ago, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination while promising to not seek re-election.
After failing in his run for the White House, the Florida senator is now reversing his stance and announcing that he will indeed run for a second term. The news was initially reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by NBC News.
Rubio was elected in 2010 as part of the Tea Party movement that put several Republicans into both chambers of Congress.
After dropping out of the running for the GOP nomination, Rubio was approached by Senate leadership in an effort to convince him to reconsider his initial pledge. Republicans who had announced they would run for the office said they would drop out if Rubio did run, including U.S. Rep. David Jolly and Lt. Gov.Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
Several potential opponents on both sides of the aisle came out against Rubio for not keeping his promise to stay out of the race. Businessman and GOP candidate Carlos Beruff said that Rubio is “more worried about keeping the job than doing the job”, while U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, said Rubio is treating Floridians like "a consolation prize.”
Rubio released a statement admitting that he changed his mind and said he has no problem with potential opponents using it against him, saying "I have never claimed to be perfect." Rubio went on to say that he is running because he feels Washington needs "principled, persuasive leaders" no matter who is elected President.
Recent polls show Rubio easily winning the Republican primary despite his late decision, while being a slight favorite against both Democratic contenders.
"Keeping Florida’s US Senate seat Republican is a top priority for our party and for hardworking Floridians who reject Democrats’ policies of ineffective government that put Washington first. That is why we welcome Senator Rubio’s decision to run for reelection," Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said in a statement. "From the chambers of the Florida House to the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio has proven himself as bold leader who is focused on real solutions to the issues facing Floridians across the state and to the nation."