Republican Marco Rubio is taking another step toward officially qualifying in Florida as a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Rubio is scheduled Tuesday to sign qualifying papers at a campaign event near his West Miami home. Aides said the papers would be delivered later this week to the Florida Secretary of State’s office in Tallahassee.
Friday is the deadline for candidates to qualify for the fall election ballot.
Rubio, former speaker of the Florida House, is challenging Republican Gov. Charlie Crist for the GOP Senate nomination. With Rubio holding a commanding lead in polls, Crist is considering whether to run as an independent or drop out.
U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami has already qualified on the Democratic side.