Tom Lee is now backing Marco Rubio for president

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Brandon state Sen. Tom Lee, conspicuously missing on a list last fall of Florida state senators backing Jeb Bush‘s presidential aspirations, said Monday he’s foursquare behind Marco Rubio  for the GOP presidential nomination.

“Beyond being a good friend, Marco Rubio is a committed conservative leader with a unrivaled record of accomplishment in Florida and Washington,” Lee said in a statement. “I know Marco’s record first-hand; as House Speaker, he led the fight to reduce taxes and regulations and to make Florida’s government smaller and more accountable to the people. He stood firm for conservative principles, no matter how tough the fights.”

“After seven years of Obama, we need a candidate for President who’s a leader with new ideas and a true commitment to reform Washington, protect our security, and revive our economy,” Lee said. “Marco is the future of the GOP, and his optimistic conservative message will help inspire a new generation, grow the party and help ensure we win the White House.”

Lee endorsed Rubio over Charlie Crist in his bid for U.S. Senate in 2010, but had been unaffiliated going into the 2016 presidential cycle.

In a display of hegemony regarding the  “Jeb vs. Marco” battle in Florida last fall, the Bush campaign released a list of 20 of the 26 GOP state senators in the Florida Legislature  who backed his candidacy for president. Lee was one of the six not on the list (the others included Alan Hays of Umatilla, Travis Hutson of Palm Coast, Rene Garcia of Hialeah, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla of Miami, and Charlie Dean of Inverness).

Last updated on February 22, 2016

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected]



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