Ivanka Trump won’t challenge Marco Rubio in 2022
Is Ivanka Trump eyeing a U.S. Senate seat from Florida? Image via AP.

The report ends months of speculation.

Ivanka Trump has met with Sen. Marco Rubio and offered her support to the incumbent in her new home state.

The news ends months of speculation she might challenge Florida’s senior Senator in a GOP primary in 2022.

A campaign spokesman for Rubio confirmed former President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter met with him weeks ago.

“I can confirm that Marco and Ivanka did speak a few weeks ago,” the spokesman told Florida Politics. “Ivanka offered her support for Marco’s reelection and they had a great talk. I can also confirm that we are discussing a joint event to highlight Marco and Ivanka’s successful push to expand the Child Tax Credit.”

That confirmed news first reported by The New York Times, sourcing Rubio spokesperson Nick Iacovella.

There’s been wide speculation that Ivanka Trump, who served as an adviser to her father during his term in the White House, might consider running for office in Florida. That grew when she and husband, Jared Kushner, moved to Indian Creek Island.

At the same time, some significant forces within Florida discouraged a Republican primary between the presidential progeny and the two-term Senator.

Sen. Rick Scott, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Florida’s junior Senator, made clear he’s only supporting incumbents this year.

And Joe Gruters, chair of the Republican Party of Florida, also indicated he considers Rubio “the best possible person to defend that seat.”

Rubio first won the seat in 2010 amid a Tea Party uprising, when the former Florida House Speaker filed to run in a primary with then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. When Crist appeared to be on track to lose the primary, he instead ran without party affiliation. Rubio won the seat that year with 48.9% of the vote in a three-person race with Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.

Six years later, Rubio initially said he would not run when he ran for President. But after losing the Florida primary to Donald Trump he dropped out of the presidential race and shortly after sought reelection. He ultimately outperformed Trump in the General Election to win a second term while Trump won Florida and the White House.

But lingering tension from that race only fueled speculation about a Trump-Rubio primary in 2022, and unlike Scott, Rubio declined to challenge Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

While Florida went for Donald Trump in November, the state remains widely considered a battleground in the mid-terms, when Gov. Ron DeSantis will also appear on the ballot. Democrats would also love the chance to pick off Rubio in an off-year considering his known presidential ambitions and wide speculation he could challenge President Joe Biden in 2024.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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