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Jeb Bush For Florida Senate?

CBS News chief political consultant Marc Ambinder and others are reporting today that Jeb Bush is "seriously considering" running for Florida Senate in the wake of Mel Martinez' decision not to seek a second term in 2010.

The reports, which are sourced to Bush and his inner circle, appear to reflect an effort by the former Florida governor (and presidential brother) to get a sense of how well received such a bid would be. In response to a query from Politico, Bush himself emailed confirmation that he is considering a run; a Bush advisor claimed to Ambinder that the potential candidate "is receiving a lot of encouragement from both in and out of the state."

Bush is calling for the GOP to rebuild by focusing on smaller government, embracing reform, and responding strongly to corruption in the party. He has pushed for the party to be more cognizant of the current and future demographic makeup of the country, telling Politico that Republicans "can't be anti-Hispanic, anti-young person — anti many things — and be surprised when we don't win elections."

Bush also told told Newsmax that Republicans "can't be Democrat-lite" — that is, too accommodating to the other side. As Ambinder suggests, that comment could be read as a criticism of current Florida governor Charlie Crist, perhaps Bush's most serious potential rival for the seat Martinez will vacate.

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