Despite repeatedly insisting he would return to life as a private citizen after his failed bid for the presidency, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is expected to announce he’s running for re-election on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported.
Rubio had already begun informing key Republicans he is running ahead of the formal announcement, two anonymous sources told the Post.
“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 about his decision to run.
In a statement announcing the run, Rubio said: “In politics, admitting you’ve changed your mind is not something most people like to do. But here goes.”
The paper reported would-be rivals Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) are expected to step aside following Rubio’s announcement. Two others, Carlos Beruff and Todd Wilcox, plan to stay in the race.
Rubio had previously said he would step aside and back Lopez-Cantera, his longtime friend, to succeed him. According to one report, Lopez-Cantera urged Rubio to stay in the Senate after the rampage at an Orlando nightclub, the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
The senator had indicated the massacre caused him to reconsider a possible campaign. Rubio said he was “deeply impacted” by tragedy hitting a community he knows well, saying, “it really gives you pause to think about your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country.”
Rubio announced he would not seek re-election after bowing out of the 2016 GOP race following a crushing, double-digit loss in his home state primary, where he carried just one county. Less than a month later, Rubio winked at a possible re-election bid to a TPM reporter last month when he said he knew exactly when the filing deadline for the race was: “June 24.”
That deadline is Friday.
This post has been updated.