Gelber to 'step back' from Fla. Senate race

Florida state Sen. Dan Gelber dropped out of the Democratic Senate primary in that state, clearing the path -- for now -- for Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) to win the Democratic nomination.

Gelber told supporters he wanted to "step back" from the race, setting up a 2010 showdown for Meek and either Gov. Charlie Crist (R) or former state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R).

"I'm not bowing out. I'd simply say I'm taking a step back for the moment," Gelber told supporters, according to a local CBS affiliate.

"The terrain has changed dramatically."I'd wish Dan luck in any endeavor that he pursues, but he doesn't need luck," Meek said in a statement. "He is a friend who puts party first and his message to Florida Democrats that we must unify around a slate of candidates is a powerful statement that I wholeheartedly embrace."

"Dan is a natural leader who will continue to serve our state with distinction in any capacity he chooses and our party is better off because of him," Meek added.

Rubio also wished Gelber well, tweeting:
I wish Dan Gelber luck on whatever path he chooses. He is a smart man, a great dad/husband and a good friend #sayfie