Rep. Vern Buchanan Says He 'Has Not Ruled out' Running for Marco Rubio's Senate Seat in 2016

After Marco Rubio’s announcement Monday that he will run for president in 2016, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, said he “has not ruled out,” running for Rubio’s Senate seat in 2016.

For 10 years, Buchanan has served in the House, where he’s a member of the House Ways and Mean Committee, which presides over tax policy, international trade and health care, as well as the Budget Committee.

“I’m trying to gauge where I can best be of service,” Buchanan said. “I’m weighing whether I can better serve as a senior member of the House or as a junior member of the Senate.”

Frank Alcock, associate professor of political science at New College of Florida, said he’d give Buchanan running “about a 50-50 chance.”

“Vern might conclude to hold on to what he has in the House, he might want to look at running for governor and he might wait for 2018, since Sen. Bill Nelson’s seat will probably open up,” Alcock said. “Anything is possible for Vern, because he’s safe in his current seat. Though if Nelson decides to wait one more term it might throw things off.”

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