To replace Mel Martinez in 2010, natch.
Two sources close to Jeb Bush, including one who has spoken to the former Florida governor within the past few hours, say he is seriously considering a run for Senate now that incumbent Republican Mel Martinez has retired.
“He is receiving a lot of encouragement from both in and out of the state,” an longtime Bush adviser said tonight. “He is going to take his time and approach this very methodically.” Bush will weigh, according to this adviser, how a run would impact his family, his business, and whether the Senate would be the best platform for the causes he’d advocate — education, immigration, GOP solutions to health care and energy.
Call me crazy but I think he’d have a chance. He won re-election in 2002 by 13% to become the only Republican to be re-elected Governor in Florida. He won a whopping 80% of the Cuban vote — a crucial block in the Sunshine State — and 56% of the non-Cuban Hispanic vote. He also carried 44% of the Jewish vote. Not too shabby.
Is his last name a hindrance? Sure. But I don’t think it’ll be as large of one as many think. First of all, it’ll be after two years of unrestrained Democratic control in Washington. It could end up being not such a bad year for Republicans. Second of all, Floridians still remember Jeb Bush’s time as Governor. Republican Charlie Crist — Bush’s Attorney General — succeeded him after winning by 7% in 2006 – a very bad year for Republicans.