Marco Rubio is now reconsidering staying in the Senate past his planned January, 2017, exit from political service following the attacks in Orlando that have left 49 people dead and scores of other people injured.
Florida’s Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera has long been considered a frontrunner for the seat that was supposed to be vacated by Marco Rubio, but he is also very good friends with Rubio and in the aftermath of the Orlando attacks last weekend, the two had a long conversation about what’s best for the senate seat, according to Politico.
Cantera spoke with Rubio about potentially staying in the senate and reconsidering his bid to leave, which seemed to be a conversation that stemmed from the attacks at the Orlando LGBT nightclub, Pulse.
A mass killing in a gay club reminded Marco Rubio of his public calling to oppose gay rights and gun regulation. https://t.co/hip8jUuT6a
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) June 13, 2016
This was something that caught Marco Rubio off-guard, considering that Cantera had been running in the Republican primary race for his seat in a crowd of contenders that are vying to get in on federal service.
“You should reconsider running for your seat,” Cantera said he told Rubio during the immediate hours after the Orlando shooting.
Rubio told Cantera that he didn’t want his friend to feel like he had to encourage him that reconsidering the senate seat was in their best interest. But Cantera said he spoke about the incident with Rubio with modest reprieve, saying that he felt that it was necessary after all that had happened in the popular theme park town.
“This is bigger than me. And this isn’t about me. And it’s not about you. It’s about our country and this election,” Cantera told Politico that he said to Rubio. “It’s deeply consequential. … In the current field, I’m the best candidate in the general election. But I’m not looking at this through rose-colored glasses.”
But Cantera said that even though he had the conversation with Rubio about reconsidering the senate seat, he also said that he does not believe that Rubio will actually run. The fact is, if Rubio wants to get on the ballot, then he must file his candidacy by June 24, which was when Rubio had committed to doing a fundraiser for Cantera to help him secure the nomination for the senate seat.
— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) June 12, 2016
There is a reverse side to that as well. If Rubio were to take Cantera’s advice about reconsidering a run for the senate seat, then Cantera said he would not put his name on the ballot for the election cycle.
Marco Rubio has made no real public claim that he will seek the senate seat for reelection, but if he is reconsidering his senate bid, then he will make that publicly know well ahead of time.
“I’ll go home later this week, I’ll have some time with my family,” Rubio said when he spoke with reporters in Washington just before he was to enter a meeting in the Capitol following the Orlando attacks. “If there’s been a change in our status, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 15, 2016
There has also been speculation that there is some kind of deal in place between Rubio and Cantera, which have spread like wildfires. With the onslaught of the Orlando attacks and the aftermath that has followed in Cantera and Rubio’s home state of Florida, there might be a rising rumor that the reconsideration of running for the senate seat by Rubio could also be a deal to plot a political advantage.
“There is no deal. There is no plan,” Cantera told Politico. “None of it is true. Anyone who says that is lying and doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”
— Salon.com (@Salon) June 16, 2016
There has also been an onslaught of rage on social media that various politicians have been cashing in on the Orlando tragedy as a way to advance their political agenda. It is unclear at this time if reconsidering a senate bid by Rubio has any real advantage for himself or Cantera.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]