Florida: Endorsements Galore in Open-Seat Senate Race

Posted June 15, 2009 at 5:19pm

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is set today to endorse former state Speaker Marco Rubio’s (R) bid to succeed retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.).

Rubio and DeMint will appear together in Upper Senate Park at 12:30 p.m. for the announcement. In backing the more conservative Rubio over Gov. Charlie Crist in the GOP primary, DeMint is splitting from his party’s leadership — who lined up behind Crist almost immediately after he announced his campaign.

DeMint’s endorsement is not shocking considering he is a very close ally of the anti-tax group Club for Growth, which has met with Rubio and is considering getting behind his candidacy.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ron Klein endorsed fellow Rep. Kendrick Meek’s Senate bid Monday.

Meek, who entered the race in January, is currently the only Democrat running. But earlier this month, Rep. Corrine Brown (D) surprised many of her colleagues by announcing that she was forming her own Senate exploratory committee.

Brown hails from the northeastern part of the state, and her district includes parts of Jacksonville, Orlando and Gainesville. Meek, Klein and Wasserman Schultz all hail from southeastern Florida.

“He has my full support, and I look forward to seeing Kendrick working on the other side of the Capitol Rotunda soon,— Klein said in a statement.