by Nicholas Stehle
April 9, 2015

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) is close to announcing his run for President, a move that will open up his Senate seat and give Democrats a chance at claiming both of Florida’s U.S. Senate seats in 2016. As a result, there’s a lot of speculation about who will run on the Republican side, in hopes of thwarting Democrats’ plans for a one seat gain out of the State of Florida.

Jeff Atwater is in, or all but in. But he’s not alone.’s Javier Manjarres writes:

Several prominent Florida politicians have already expressed their intentions to run for Rubio’s seat, while others have considered a run, but are not expected to jump into this soon-to-be contested Republican senatorial primary race.

Rep. Tom Rooney (R) is said to be thinking about the race, as well as Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) and Rep. Curt Clawson (R), but all three men are not expected to officially enter the race.

Florida CFO Jeff Atwater’s Senate run is imminent, and according to sources with knowledge of Atwater’s future run for office, the formal announcement to run for the U.S. Senate will come a week after Rubio announces that he will run for president 2016.

Atwater supporters already have a Super PAC setup. He’s running.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) one of the most conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and is the antithesis of the Republican establishment, has also expressed his intentions to run for Rubio’s Senate seat, and is expected to make his official senatorial announcement come within a couple days of Rubio’s April 13 announcement in Miami.

Florida Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera is also seriously considering a run for the Senate seat, and has already been making the calls around the state, hoping to garner the much-needed support he and the others will need to be successful in 2016.

With a growing potential field taking shape and multiple conservative choices for GOP Primary voters, this is sure to be one of the more interesting Senate races in the country.

(By the way, if you don’t read it already, be sure to check out Shark Tank. It’s one of the very best Florida political blogs. Javier is great, and his new Brown People: Hispanic Politics and the Disunited State of Amigos is a must read.)