Jeb Bush not going to run for Florida Senate seat in 2010

January 6, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate, ending weeks of speculation that he would preserve a Bush family power center in the nation’s capital. His father, George H.W. Bush told Fox News over the weekend that he saw the Senate seat as a possible precursor to another Bush winning the White House in the future. Unlike his older brother George W., Jeb left office with high approval ratings. He was considered the strongest contender for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Mel Martinez in 2010. But running would have subjected Bush to scrutiny of his business dealings, such as his service as an advisor to the now-failed Lehman Bros. investment bank. And despite his approval ratings above 60%, Bush would have become a national target forced to defending the record of his unpopular brother.

Now, Bush’s decision forces the GOP to defend a seat in a onetime GOP stronghold where Barack Obama’s presidential effort built a potent Democratic campaign machinery. JebBush said he intends to focus on his growing real estate business and on devoting time to his family. He spent much of today calling friends and supporters to give them the news. Jeb did not speculate about the possibility of a presidential run, but friends say that his decision not to seek Martinez’s Senate seat does not preclude a future campaign for political office. Bush pledged to be involved in rebuilding the Republican Party by advocating conservative ideas and policies. But in a written statement, he also called on his fellow Republicans to “raise the level of debate to reflect the American people’s desire for change and bipartisanship, embodied by November’s historic election.” “President-elect Obama ran a tremendous campaign, and I am proud to call him my president,” Bush said in the statement. “The opposition should be about ideas and not what my brother suffered through in the last eight years,” he said. “I don’t wish that on President Obama.”


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