- Thomson Reuters
Marco Rubio announced Wednesday that he will seek reelection to the US Senate.
“In politics, admitting you’ve changed your mind is not something most people like to do. But here it goes,” Rubio said in a statement. “I have decided to seek reelection to the United States Senate.”
A source familiar with the decision told Business Insider earlier that the Florida senator had informed Republican officials about his plans.
The decision is a sharp reversal from what Rubio had repeatedly said on the campaign trail as a candidate for president.
At the time, he insisted that he would not run for reelection to his Senate seat and went so far as to later mock reports that he would change his mind.
I have only said like 10000 times I will be a private citizen in January.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 17, 2016
That tune shifted in the weeks following his exit from the race.
Rubio was lobbied by top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, to run for another term. They viewed him as the best hope to retain the Senate seat.
A poll published Wednesday morning illustrated that point. It found that Rubio was the only Republican who led the Democratic challengers in the race.
After the Orlando shooting, Rubio said he was reconsidering the decision, telling reporters the terror attack had prompted him to rethink his “service to country.”
- Joe Raedle/Getty Images
In his statement Wednesday, Rubio acknowledged that he has “often said that the US Senate can be a frustrating place,” but argued that “no matter who is elected president, there is reason to worry” and the Senate could play a key part.
“[A]s we begin the next chapter in the history of our nation, there’s another role for the Senate that could end up being its most important in the years to come: The Constitutional power to act as a check and balance on the excesses of a president,” Rubio said.
The conservative firebrand said, however, that “in the end” his decision was made “back home in West Miami over Father’s Day weekend” with his family.
“There were two paths before us. There was one path that was more personally comfortable and probably smarter politically,” Rubio said. “But after much thought and prayer, together we chose to continue with public service; to continue down the path that provides the opportunity to make a positive difference at this critical and uncertain time for our nation.”
“In the end, there was simply too much at stake for any other choice.”