As soon as Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who sailed into his seat on a wave of Tea Party good times in 2010, announced that he'd be running for president in 2016, everybody started looking around for the right Republican to hand his legacy off to. Attorney General Pam Bondi didn't want it (we keep hearing that she might run for governor once Gov. Rick Scott has finished having his way with the office, which is a prospect that is both terrifying and fascinating) and state CFO Jeff Atwater didn't step up for it, either.
There's a good chance that whoever runs for Rubio's seat will likely face off against the Democratic party's simultaneously most loved and most hated progressive bulldog, Alan Grayson (who, somewhat ominously, said when he announced his plan to run for the seat, "What people see us doing in this race is going to live until the end of time. This is going to be the first race, the first real political race, of the 21st century"). We're putting our money on Grayson, by the way, because what are the chances that the other major Dem in this race, extremely safe bet/very uninspiring pick, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, will win the hearts of progressives during primary season?
Here is who the Republicans have come up with so far to follow in Rubio's footsteps: U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Jacksonville, an Iraq war veteran and a "reform conservative" who has already raised more than $2 million and is being called the frontrunner in this barely begun race; Orlando combat veteran Todd Wilcox, founder of defense contractor Patriot Defense Group; current Lt. Gov. Cc, who has been on exactly nobody's radar since his appointment to the position in early 2014, and about whom Scott said when he appointed him, "I love the fact he's Hispanic," which the party is probably hoping is what voters will love about him, too; earlier this week, U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Dunedin, also entered the race and announced that if elected, he would fight for your right to "determine your own future, practice your own faith and pursue the American dream – and that includes making your own health care coverage decisions." Pretty sure that's code for "you're on your own if you're poor, long live the tenets of conservative Christianity, tax cuts for big business – and no expanded healthcare for you."