Race to replace Florida Sen. Rubio is crowded, contentious

AP News
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Posted: Feb 29, 2016 4:24 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — As Republican Sen. Marco Rubio pursues the presidency, the Florida Democratic primary race to replace him pits a moderate embraced by party leaders against a fiery liberal, and a large field of Republican contenders is trying to tap into an anti-Washington sentiment.

Five Republicans are now in the race — two congressmen, the lieutenant governor and two businessmen with no political experience. The Democratic primary is a two-way race between U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson.

Murphy is a moderate who has criticized Grayson over an ethics investigation into a hedge fund he manages. Grayson says the criticism only bolsters his support.

The seat is seen as a key to Democrats' hopes of regaining power in the Senate.