Marco Rubio won the Republican nomination for a second Senate term Tuesday night, a reversal of fortune after Florida GOP voters dealt a fatal blow to his presidential ambitions in a primary earlier this year.
With the Senate on the line, Republicans convinced the Florida lawmaker to seek re-election rather than retiring after only a single term. Rubio had planned to either be in the White House or the private sector next year. Winning his primary is the first step in extending his stay on Capitol Hill instead.
The primary field mostly cleared for Rubio when he decided to give it another go. The sole holdout among name candidates was builder Carlos Beruff. Rubio mostly ignored his primary opponent, refusing to debate him.
Beruff ran as a Donald Trump clone of sorts, hitting Rubio on missed votes and immigration, criticizing him for not being sufficiently supportive of the GOP presidential nominee, spending some $8 million to help self-fund his campaign.
Yet Beruff was unable to replicate Trump's feat of actually beating Rubio in a Florida primary.