Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who has been considering a bid for Marco Rubio’s U.S. Senate seat, confirmed he will announce a decision on July 15.
Lopez-Cantera announced the date to an audience of Miami-Dade Republicans while introducing Rubio – who is in the midst of his own presidential campaign — at the county GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner, held Saturday evening at the DoubleTree Hilton Miami.
“As a Republican, I am proud that in our Party we have primaries where voters decide who should be their nominee,” Lopez-Cantera said to the crowd of about 700 people. “Unlike the Democrats who tell their voters who their nominee will be.
“I am considering running for the United States Senate to follow in the footsteps of Marco Rubio … On July 15th, I will make an announcement regarding my candidacy for the United States Senate.”
In May, supporters of Lopez-Cantera launched a super PAC, which is able to raise unlimited funds for his prospective candidacy. Once he becomes an official candidate, however, Lopez-Cantera cannot coordinate activities between the campaign and the super PAC.
In Miami, Lopez-Cantera also plugged his conservative bona fides as Gov. Rick Scott’s 2014 running mate, saying that the Republican team in Florida can show Washington “how it’s done.”
“I know that it will be a long road,” he declared. “It will be a tough road. But if we get into it together there is nothing that can stand in our way.”
If Scott’s second-in-command does enter the race, he will face U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, a fellow Republican from Ponte Vedra Beach, who also recently mounted his own run for the Senate. Another potential GOP contender is Jeff Miller, the Chumuckla Congressman.
During the speech, Lopez-Cantara also namechecked a number of Democrats, including presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Treasure Coast Congressman Patrick Murphy, the only announced Democrat in the Senate race, and Rep. Alan Grayson, the Orlando liberal who is also considering a run for Rubio’s seat.
“We believe in leadership that respects people, respects life, respects the law, and respects the Constitution of the United States of America,” he said. “That’s not what Barack Obama or Alan Grayson or Patrick Murphy or Hillary Clinton believe in, but it’s what I’ve fought for here, and would fight for in Washington.”