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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jun. 23, 201612:00 PM EST

DeSantis pulls out of Senate race, will seek another term in House

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Just hours after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio announced he will run for re-election, Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he is dropping out of the Senate race and will seek another term in his Northeast Florida House district.

A statement from DeSantis’ campaign described Rubio as a “strong bet to win what will be a pivotal U.S. Senate race in a challenging political environment.”

DeSantis’ move reshuffles the campaign in Congressional District 6, which includes all or parts of St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia and Lake counties.

“In light of the Rubio development, I can best advance the cause by running for re-election to the U.S. House in the 6th Congressional District, where I can continue protecting taxpayers, promoting economic growth, helping our veterans, and supporting our military,” he said.

With a qualifying deadline at noon Friday, five candidates had qualified as of early afternoon Wednesday for the District 6 race, including state Rep. Fred Costello, R-Ormond Beach, and state Rep. Dwayne Taylor, D-Daytona Beach.

Rubio’s decision comes as Republicans try to maintain control of the U.S. Senate.

“I think that the point that really drove me to change my mind is that as we enter this kind of new chapter in our history here is, there’s another role the Senate plays that I think can be really important in the years to come,” Rubio told The Miami Herald.

“And that’s the power given to it in the Constitution to act as a check and balance on the excess of the president. It’s even more important given the fact that control of the Senate could very well come down to what happens in the Florida race,” he said.

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