Jeb eyes open Senate race

JEB EYES OPEN SENATE RACE…. For crying out loud, hasn’t this family done enough damage? Can’t they just leave us alone for a while?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — the younger brother of the president — is weighing a run for the Senate seat currently held by Republican Mel Martinez.

Martinez announced Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2010. Asked whether he was interested in running for the seat then, Bush told Politico by email Tuesday night: “I am considering it.”

A source close to Bush said he’ll be thoughtful and methodical about the decision-making process. He will consider the impact a race would have on his family and his business and whether or not the U.S. Senate is the best forum from which to continue his advocacy for the issues on which he’s focused, such as education, immigration, and GOP solutions to health care reform. […]

Since Martinez’s announcement Tuesday, Bush has received many phone calls and emails from Floridians and national Republicans urging him to run, the source close to him said Tuesday night.

Marc Ambinder reported that “two sources close” the former Florida governor confirm that Jeb is “seriously considering” a Senate campaign.

It’s tempting to think, after the last eight years, that voters — even Floridian voters — would balk at the idea of sending yet another Bush to Washington. Indeed, at first blush, the idea probably sounds rather ridiculous.

But don’t count on it. John Ellis (“Jeb”) Bush remains a popular figure in Florida politics. If he runs, Republicans clear the field for him; he would have no trouble raising considerable funds for an expensive statewide campaign (Florida has seven major media markets); and he would go into the race as the odds-on favorite.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.