Kendrick Meek campaigns for Senate with Jim Davis in Tampa listen02/09/10 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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The race for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by George LeMieux wonâ€™t be settled until November, but it is already heating up. Thatâ€™s especially true on the Republican side where Governor Charlie Crist has lost a commanding lead over former Speaker of the Florida House Marco Rubio. But the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek, says heâ€™s not concerned his chances to win the Senate seat are slipping because of all the attention focused on the GOP.
â€œI donâ€™t think so," Meek replied.
Last week Marco Rubio had to backtrack from his suggestion that the U.S. Census should only count â€œlegal American citizens.â€ He was criticized by many supporters and detractors, including Crist. Today in Tampa, Kendrick Meek predicted that with an accurate count, Florida may overtake New York to become the nationâ€™s third most populous state.
Meek was asked if Rubio is too far right to be elected statewide in Florida.
â€œI think that the voters will answer that question. I look forward to that day coming, if Mr. Rubio makes it through the primary process. And I look forward to going head-to-head with him on those questions of responsibility and leadership. And I think thatâ€™s what itâ€™s going to come down to.â€
Jim Davis, who represented parts of Tampa in Congress until 2007, joined Meek at a downtown hotel. Davis says he â€œabsolutelyâ€ thinks Meek has a chance to beat whoever survives the GOP primary.
Meek is taking the unusual step of sponsoring a driver at this weekendâ€™s Daytona 500 NASCAR race. But he wouldnâ€™t say how much it is costing his campaign to sponsor Mike Wallace.