On Tuesday, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., took his name out of consideration for a return to the U.S. Senate in 2016. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is running for the Republican presidential nomination and has said he will not run for a second term in the Senate.
LeMieux, who turned 46 last month, was in Orlando on Tuesday at Gov. Rick Scott’s “Economic Growth Summit." Talking to Sunshine State News, LeMieux said he would not run in 2016 saying he wanted to spend time with his young family. LeMieux had garnered some buzz as a possible Senate candidate in 2016.
Appointed to the Senate in 2009 by his ally then-Gov. Charlie Crist to replace U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., LeMieux served 16 months in the Senate and focused on the “2007 plan” to reduce the size of the federal government to what it had been in 2007. Despite having served as his chief of staff, LeMieux did not back Crist’s Senate efforts in 2010 as the then-governor left the GOP to continue his Senate bid with no party affiliation. LeMieux endorsed Marco Rubio who went on to beat Crist and Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek in the general election.
LeMieux tried to return to the Senate in 2012, running for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. But, failing to gain traction, LeMieux ended his Senate bid before the Republican primary. Since then, the former senator has launched the LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Even with LeMieux out of the mix, Republicans have several possible Senate candidates. U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis is already running and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera told Sunshine State News on Tuesday that he is “seriously considering” entering the race. Other possible Republican candidates include U.S. Reps. Jeff Miller, Curt Clawson and David Jolly and former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.
On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy is already running and U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is considering entering the race.
Ed Dean, a senior editor with SSN whose talk-show can be heard on radio stations across Florida, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @eddeanradio. Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN