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Florida: As Gelber Steps Aside, Brown Enters Picture

Rep. Kendrick Meek got some good news and some bad news over the weekend in his effort to secure the Democratic nomination in the race to replace retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R).

State Sen. Dan Gelber (D) dropped his Senate bid in an effort to help clear the primary in what is expected to become a top Senate battleground in 2010.

“It makes little sense — when we do face the prospect of real change in Florida — for me to participate in a potentially divisive primary for U.S. Senate that will only serve to diminish our chances against a very formidable and well-known Republican nominee,— Gelber said.

But Rep. Corrine Brown complicated the Democratic primary picture by announcing that she was opening an exploratory committee of her own in the Senate race.

Brown said she would make a final decision on the race in the coming weeks.

A tough Democratic primary fight would certainly come as welcome news to Republicans, who are facing their own primary battle between Gov. Charlie Crist and former state Speaker Marco Rubio.

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