DeSantis opens door to Senate bid

Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisScott defeats Nelson in Florida Senate race after bitter recount fight Gillum officially concedes in Florida gubernatorial race Trump: Gillum will be 'force to reckon with' MORE (R-Fla.) could run to replace Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillary advisers battle over whether she’ll run in 2020 Rubio defends '3 point kick' analogy: 'You think everyone who follows politics knows what a field goal is?' Lawmakers to introduce bipartisan bill targeting China's treatment of Muslims MORE (R-Fla.) if Rubio decides to run for president, he said Monday on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“It’s something worth thinking about,” he said just as the interview was ending.

“I think 2016 is going to be a major national security election, I think it’s important that we run candidates up and down the ballot who understand these issues and want to reorient our foreign policy so that it’s based on American strength, we’re backing our allies and we are being firm with our enemies.”

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DeSantis won his seat in 2012 with 57 percent of the vote and received endorsements from Tea Party supporters including Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the Club for Growth, and media commentator Erick Erickson. He’s a former officer in the Navy who served as a military prosecutor.

Rubio has been flirting with a bid for president and people close to him told The Hill in February that they expect him to run. 

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday found that Rubio has the second-most appeal out of the potential GOP field, with 56 percent of GOP voters saying they could vote for him compared to 26 who could not. But he also typically polls in the middle of the pack in mock primary ballots.

If Rubio chooses to run, it could set off a scramble in Florida to replace him. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzIncoming congresswoman questions whether she is allowed to still sell Girl Scout cookies Single fingerprint, misspellings pointed FBI to mail bombs suspect Piers Morgan: Trump can't ignore stickers on suspect's van, must cool down 'violently aggressive rhetoric' MORE is thought to be weighing a bid.

In addition to DeSantis, a slew of Florida Republicans could also seek to replace Rubio, including Reps. Jeff Miller and John Mica, State House Speaker Will Weatherford, Attorney General Pam Bondi and state CFO Jeff Atwater.