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Rubio Changes Mind, Will Run for Re-Election to the Senate
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday. (AP/Paul Sancya)

Rubio Changes Mind, Will Run for Re-Election to the Senate

“I know people in politics don’t like to admit they’ve changed their mind, and people in Florida deserve to know why,” Rubio said.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio will run for re-election to the Senate, he told Fox News in an interview airing Wednesday.

“I know people in politics don’t like to admit they’ve changed their mind, and people in Florida deserve to know why,” Rubio said.

Rubio said that he has found his work in the Senate “rewarding” and no matter who wins the presidential election, the Senate must serve as a “check and balance” to the executive branch.

“I believe that I can contribute to that, I want to contribute to that,” Rubio said.

The decision is a reversal for the Florida lawmaker, who previously said he would not seek re-election.

Following the terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, however, Rubio implied he was re-evaluating his decision.

Rubio told radio host Hugh Hewitt during an interview last week that “It really gives you pause to think a little bit about, you know, your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country.”

Florida law barred Rubio from running for president and the Senate at the same time. Following his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, the freshman senator maintained that he would not seek re-election to the Senate.

Upon his return to the Senate in March, Rubio told reporters, “I’m not gonna be vice president. I’m not running for Governor of Florida. I’m going to finish out my term in the Senate and over the next ten months we are going to work really hard here — we have some things we want to achieve — and then I’ll be a private citizen in January.”

In recent days, many Republicans - including presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump - have urged Rubio to reconsider.

Rubio’s decision comes shortly before Florida’s June 24 campaign filing deadline.

In a statement, Rubio said "I understand my opponents will try to use this decision to score political

points against me. Have at it. Because I have never claimed to be perfect, or to have all the answers."

He added that "There’s also something else. No matter who is elected president, there is reason for worry:"

"With Hillary Clinton, we would have four more years of the same failed economic policies that have left us with a stagnant economy. We would have four more years of the same failed foreign policy that has allowed radical Islam to spread, and terrorists to be released from Guantanamo. And even worse, if Clinton were president and her party took control of Congress, she would govern without Congressional oversight or limit. It would be a repeat of the early years of the current administration, when we got Obamacare, the failed stimulus and a record debt.

The prospect of a Trump presidency is also worrisome to me. It is no secret that I have significant disagreements with Donald Trump. His positions on many key issues are still unknown. And some of his statements, especially about women and minorities, I find not just offensive but unacceptable. If he is elected, we will need Senators willing to encourage him in the right direction, and if necessary, stand up to him. I’ve proven a willingness to do both."

"In the end, this was a decision made not in Washington, but back home in West Miami over Father’s Day weekend, with my wife and our four children," he continued.

"There were two paths before us. There was one path that was more personally comfortable and probably smarter politically. But after much thought and prayer, together we chose to continue with public service; to continue down the path that provides the opportunity to make a positive difference at this critical and uncertain time for our nation. In the end, there was simply too much at stake for any other choice."

Rubio’s full interview about his decision to seek re-election airs on Fox News at 6:00 p.m. EST.

This post has been updated to include an additional statement from Rubio.

Follow Kate Scanlon (@kgscanlon) on Twitter and Facebook.

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