He has been asked over and over again but Marco Rubio has said he would not run for re-election for his Florida Senate seat because his friend, Carlos Lopez-Cantera was running for the seat and did not want to get in his way. It appears now, that Lopez-Cantera is saying to Marco Rubio, “If you want to run again, I’ll step back.”
Friends for 20 years, Marco Rubio and Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera were at the scene of the Orlando massacre on Sunday when they had an unusually frank conversation about their political futures.
“You should reconsider running for your seat,” Lopez-Cantera told Rubio as they sat in the senator’s pickup truck about an hour before sunset, after witnessing the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Rubio was caught off guard. After all, Lopez-Cantera has been running for his Senate seat in a crowded GOP primary for more than a year — with Rubio’s encouragement.
Lopez-Cantera made clear he was still fully committed to running, even as he initiated a gut-check moment for both of them. Until then, Rubio had resisted the entreaties of Senate leaders and donors to rethink retiring from the Senate. Lopez-Cantera’s conversation removed one of the biggest obstacles to Rubio running again: a longtime friendship that he wouldn’t want to ruin due to political ambition.
“I don’t want you to feel like you have to say that because of outside pressure,” Rubio responded.
But Lopez-Cantera says he felt “compelled” to continue talking it through. The two of them were shaken by what they saw in Orlando, the bloody sidewalks and the ashen faces of local, state and federal authorities.
Filing deadline is June 24th. We’ll find out in little over a week how this plays out.