The news earlier today that Jeb Bush is not running for Senate was good news and somewhat unexpected. So where does that leave us? Who will be running for this seat? A quick rundown of where others stand as far as running prior to Jeb's announcement:
Allen Boyd: Undecided. Probably doesn't have a high enough profile to defeat one of the other big-name Democrats, but certainly can raise the money. Progressives don't like him, though, and I wonder if that would hold him back. Has a very similar profile, though, to Bill Nelson, who has won several times quite easily.
Jim Davis: Not running. Good thing, his failed gubernatorial run left a lot of people with a bad taste and a lot of activists across the state don't like him.
Joe Garcia: No word yet. Would have a real shot in the general election, but probably isn't well-known enough in the electorate to beat Sink or maybe even Gelber. If they aren't in the race, he has probably the best network and broadest appeal statewide of any of the candidates (and might be able to beat Gelber, too).
Dan Gelber: No real indication yet, but is considering it. Gelber is a good progressive, has a great track record of leadership and House Victory and Obama campaign guru Steve Schale in his corner. On the other hand, is his name recognition high enough outside of his district and wonk-y circles?
Pam Iorio: Not ruling it out. Would be a longshot, we haven't seen much in recent years of leaps from mayor to big positions like this and it seems unlikely that will change, despite her strong support in Tampa Bay.
Ron Klein: No word yet. Could win in the absence of candidates like Sink, but it just may be a bit too soon for him to run.
Chris Korge: No word yet. Can obviously raise the money, but outside of fundraising circles, who knows anything about him?
Kendrick Meek: I ahven't heard anything about him even thinking about running, but blogger Tally is pushing for him pretty heavily (at least he was until Jeb got out of the race). He would be a formidable candidate and would likely have institutional backing if he won the primary.
Jim Naugle: Is not running. If he did, he'd likely be laughed out of the primary.
Frank Sanchez: No word yet. Never heard of him. If I haven't heard of him, I doubt many voters have. Probably can raise money and has a Tampa base, but those wouldn't be enough against one of the other candidates.
Alex Sink: Very likely to be in now that Jeb is out. Has a great shot at winning and if she is in, she would have to be considered the front-runner.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Definitely out. She has power and is rising in stature in the House, why give that up to go back to the bottom of the list in the Senate?
Allan Bense: Considering it. Could win the nomination if some of the bigger names stayed out, but would get crushed by most of the top Dems.
Ginny Brown-Waite: Considering running. Would lose in the primary. Probably badly.
Vern Buchanan: No word yet. Ineffective in Washington, came to office dishonestly, under a cloud of scandal -- he's lucky to be in the House, much less running for Senate.
Jeb Bush: Not running. Would've been the frontrunner to win if he was in.
Charlie Crist: Out. Could win, but appears more interested in re-election as governor, which makes sense because of the difference in party control in D.C. and Tallahassee.
Adam Hasner: No word yet. Isn't well-known enough outside of his district to have much shot in the primary.
Connie Mack: Endorsed Jeb and said he wasn't running, but with Jeb out will he reconsider? He's one of the few Florida Republicans with any pull in Washington, so he would have a chance.
Mel Martinez: Retiring. Would've been a high priority target for the Dems and could've been beaten.
Bill McCollum: Almost definitely in now that Jeb is out. Could win the nomination -- has done so before -- but is unlikely to beat the top Dems. He's been in Washington before and people chose not to send him back. Doubt they'll change their minds now.
John Mica: Is considering it. Nobody knows who he is, though, and he's been largely ineffective in D.C., so he wouldn't make much impact on the race.
Jeff Miller: No word yet. Seems unlikely that such a no-name candidate from a part of the state that most Floridians consider to be foreign would take such a leap. Would get no more than a few percent in a primary.
Adam Putnam: Out. Has no chance anyway.
Marco Rubio: No indication yet, but there is a Facebook group seeking to draft him. Has some public recognition and fundraising ability and can paint himself as "moderate" and a "problem-solver" because of the fake 100 Ideas thing. A formidable candidate.