Marco Rubio Will Run to Retain His Senate Seat

Sen. Marco Rubio, (R.,Fla.) / AP
June 22, 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio announced Wednesday he would seek reelection to his Florida seat in November, walking back an earlier pledge that he would not run.

"I know people in politics don't like to admit they've changed their mind, but I changed my mind," Rubio told Fox News' Chris Wallace Wednesday morning.

The announcement arrived two days before his state’s June 24 filing deadline, and after he faced extensive pressure from top Republicans who feared the party would lose the seat.

Rubio said in a statement he was motivated to run for reelection given his concerns about both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

"No matter who’s elected president, there’s reason to worry. If it’s Hillary Clinton, you know we’re going to have four more years of the same failed economic policies, four more years of the same failed foreign policy," he said. "The prospect of a Trump presidency is also worrisome to me in many ways. It’s no secret that I have significant disagreements with Donald."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters ahead of the announcement that Rubio’s reentry would be a "great outcome" that would likely keep the seat in GOP control. McConnell spearheaded efforts to persuade Rubio to run, instead of stepping down as planned.

Rubio exited the Republican presidential race in March after losing his home state to Trump by nearly 20 points. He vowed soon after to leave politics in January at the end of his first term.

He reiterated his pledge last month after media reports surfaced rumoring that the freshman senator intended to run.

Soon after news surfaced that Rubio intended to enter the race, Murphy criticized Rubio for leading the chamber in missed votes and treating his constituents "like a consolation prize."

A poll released Wednesday morning showed Rubio leading both of his Democratic rivals.

The Quinnipiac University poll also found Democratic Reps. Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy ahead of the largely unknown Republican contenders seeking to replace Rubio.