Continuing his bid for the U.S. Senate in next year’s election, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., brought in a familiar figure to serve as an adviser and his campaign’s pollster: Tony Fabrizio. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., currently running for the Republican presidential nomination, has said he will not run for a second term.
Best known in Florida for his work on Rick Scott’s successful 2010 and 2014 gubernatorial bids, Fabrizio, who works at Fabrizio, Lee and Associates, has worked for Republicans across the country, including U.S Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis. He also handled the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s polls during the 2014 election cycle. Still, there have been some misfires in Fabrizio’s career, including then-Gov. Rick Perry’s, R-Texas, presidential bid in 2012.
DeSantis stressed Fabrizio‘s work in the Sunshine State in the announcement on Friday.
“I’m excited that Tony is on board for my campaign to reform Washington,” DeSantis said. “Tony is a one of the best in the business and he knows Florida as well as anyone. He will be a key player in our efforts.”
Fabrizio is the latest catch for DeSantis who has been building his team this week. On Thursday, DeSantis announced he had gotten the financial support of some of the leading Republicans in Florida, including former Gov. Bob Martinez, former Ambassador John Rood and former Ambassador Francis Rooney. The two former ambassadors have been major donors for Republican candidates at the state and national levels. DeSantis has won the support of several national conservative groups including FreedomWorks and Club for Growth.
While he is the only major Republican candidate currently in the race, DeSantis could soon have company. Republicans looking at entering the Senate race include former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, U.S. Reps. Curt Clawson and David Jolly, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, former state Attorney General Bill McCollum, former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz and businessman Randy Fine.
On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., is already running while U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., has left the door open to entering the race.
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