Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) is seriously considering entering the already crowded Republican Senate primary, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and a tweet from nonpartisan campaign expert Larry Sabato.
Buchanan has the personal wealth and deep party connections to spend his way into the race. Buchanan spent $7.5 million of his own money in his first congressional race, and was a top fundraiser for former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.).
But he is susceptible to a challenge from the right: He has one of the more centrist voting records of Florida's Republican House delegation, and has supported Democratic priorities including banning offshore drilling off Florida's coast, raising the minimum wage and creating the State Children's Health Insurance Program. He also publicly stressed bipartisanship in his 2008 reelection, which could come back to bite him in a primary.
Other Republicans in the race include former Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.), former state Rep. Adam Hasner and former Ruth's Chris Steakhouse CEO Craig Miller. The campaign for the right to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) will be an expensive one, with a crowded and deep-pocketed field in a large, exorbitantly expensive state to campaign in.