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Sen. Marco Rubio To Run For Re-Election

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Senator Marco Rubio appears to have had a change of heart when it comes to his political career.

The Florida senator who said he wouldn't seek a second term after losing the presidential primary to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has decided to run for re-election.

Rubio released a statement to formally announce his decision.

"In politics, admitting you've changed your mind is not something most people like to do. But here it goes. I have decided to seek reelection to the United States Senate," Rubio said in his statement. "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 also appeared on CNN following the announcement.

"I changed my mind. And I changed my mind because I never said I was perfect or had every answer," he said. "If you're not perfect and you don't have every answer, there will come times when you'll change your mind."

Rubio's decision comes as Republicans try to maintain control of the U.S. Senate.

"Control of the Senate may very well come down to the race in Florida," Rubio's statement read. "That means the future of the Supreme Court will be determined by the Florida Senate seat. It means the future of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal will be determined by the Florida Senate seat. It means the direction of our country's fiscal and economic policies will be determined by this Senate seat. The stakes for our nation could not be higher."

He also discussed the presidential election, and his feelings about the two candidates.

"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."

Finally, Rubio explained his thinking behind the decision to run.

"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."

"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."

To read Rubio's full statement, click here.

Democrat Patrick Murphy, who filed to run for Rubio's seat, said in a statement that Florida could do better.

"Marco Rubio abandoned his constituents, and now he's treating them like a consolation prize. Unlike Marco Rubio, I love working hard every single day for the people of Florida," said Rep. Murphy in a statement. "From missing the most votes of any Florida Senator in nearly 50 years, to seeking to ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest, to repeatedly voting against closing the terrorist gun loophole, Rubio is proving he is only out for himself."

The latest Quinnipiac University Poll, which was taken before Rubio's decision to run, should bolster the senator's resolve - it has him leading both Murphy and Rep. Alan Grayson.

Rubio led Murphy 47 percent to 40 percent and Grayson by a margin of 48 percent to 40 percent. Murphy and Grayson are ahead of several largely unknown Republican contenders.

READ: Quinnipiac Poll On Florida Senate Race

In the Rubio-Murphy matchup, men back Rubio 51 to 36 percent, while women are divided, with 44 percent for Rubio and 42 percent for Murphy. White voters go Republican 56 – 33 percent, while non-white voters go Democratic 55 – 30 percent.

The results are very similar in the Rubio-Grayson matchup.

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who had also thrown his hat in the ring, told supporters that if Rubio decides to run he would end his campaign.

Lopez-Cantera followed through on that promise in a statement released following Rubio's announcement.

"I want to thank all of my supporters in this campaign, and I want to congratulate and thank Marco for his decision to pursue re-election to the U.S. Senate," Lopez-Cantera's statement read.  "As his friend, I know this was a thoughtful yet difficult decision that was made with our country's best interest at heart. Florida needs a principled conservative leader now more than ever, and that is what Marco has been and will continue to be. Additionally, as I previously stated, I will not file as a candidate in this U.S. Senate race, continuing my service as Florida's lieutenant governor with Governor Scott focusing on Florida."

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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