Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said on Wednesday he is considering running for re-election and may decide to jump into the race as early as this weekend, a move that could help Republicans retain their majority in the U.S. Senate.
"I'll go home later this week. And I'll have some time with my family. And then, if there's a change in our status, I'll be sure to let everyone know," the former Republican presidential candidate told reporters in the U.S. Capitol.
Rubio, 45, first elected to the Senate in 2010, announced his retirement from the Senate in March after losing Florida's presidential primary. But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and others have been pressuring him to reconsider, citing polling data showing him to be the only Republican who can win the election in Florida.
Rubio confirmed a Politico report that he was urged to run for re-election on Sunday in Orlando, Florida, by one of the Republicans contending for the seat, his friend Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera. The two men were in Orlando after the shooting that killed 49 people at a gay nightclub.
Another Florida Republican hopeful, U.S. Representative David Jolly, has indicated he would step aside if Rubio entered the race.
Rubio must decide whether to seek re-election by June 24, the filing deadline for Florida's August primary.
(Reporting by David Morgan and Eric Walsh; Editing by Peter Cooney)