(CNN) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is considering a bid for the United Sates Senate, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos told CNN Tuesday.
Republicans are urging Bush, the president's younger brother, to strongly consider making a bid for the seat currently held by outgoing Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. The first term senator announced Tuesday he would not run for reelection, setting off what's sure to be one of the most hotly-contested Senate battles in 2010.
Bush, who served as Florida governor from 1999 until 2007 and enjoyed high approval ratings, will take the next month to consider getting into the race, Castellanos said on CNN's The Situation Room. Castellanos is a CNN contributor. Bush also told the Politico he is "considering" getting into the race.
Should Bush decide to run, his presence would add immediate star power to a race Democrats are likely to make their top target in 2010. But the former governor, who has largely remained out of the spotlight over the last two years, could be hindered by his close association with the unpopular outgoing president.
"Let me give him some free advice," Paul Begala, a CNN contributor, said. "Change your name. Run as John Ellis not John Ellis Bush. The Bush brand is probably what croaked Mel Martinez."
According to Florida exit polls on Election Day, just 9 percent of Floridians approve of President Bush’s job performance. But Jeb Bush left office in 2007 with approval ratings well over 60 percent, a sign he could be insulated in the state from his brother's unpopularity.
Since exiting the governor's office, Bush has served on the board of Tenet Healthcare Corporation. He also joined the now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2007 as an adviser to its private equity business.
Bush endorsed McCain's presidential bid last February, though rarely campaigned on his behalf.
According to published reports, Democrats view Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer, as the candidate best positioned to run for the seat. Before Martinez's announcement Sink suggested she was uninterested in the run, but it's likely she now may reconsider.
Democrats are also considering Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a high-profile supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton's bid, though Schultz's congressional spokesman said it is unlikely she will run. Other Democrats mentioned include Reps. Kendrick Meek and Allen Boyd.
On the Republican side, Reps. Vern Buchanan and Connie Mack are said to be interested, as well as several GOP state officials.
Awesome! We love Jeb down here in Florida. He left the governors mansion with a job approval rating in the upper 70's.
The next 4 years of Obama are going to be painful, having another Bush in the White House is what America Needs!!
Enough is enough, this family has robbed America blind. No more Bush's in public office.
Like Hillary once said, America will rise from the Ashes of the Bushes...
Thanks, but no thanks...
If the conservatives were not so stupid another bush would not stand a chance but we can trust conservative stupidity especially when Jeb invokes the hate of Gays and the immigrants. You can bet all those religious right would be voting for him.
oh! lord! please! please! not again. we have suffered enough for the last 8 years we do not need any more sufferings. PEOPLE OF FLORIDA I BEG YOU PLEASE DON'T LET IT HAPPEN
PLEASE FL don't send another BUSH to Washington – You gave us the first one and look what happen to the country!
No more son of a bush, PLEASE!!!!!
Oh, I forgot, daddy Bush was the first one – We need to "Stay out fo the Bushes!"
Jeb Bush scares me as much George Bush. In some ways, Jeb Bush may be worse than our current President. I would pick Mel Martinez over Jeb Bush any day....
Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush!
Bring your older brother along once in a while, to stick his finger in some of the liberals eyes so that I can get a good chuckle.
I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't having a nightmare.
Please no more Bush's! Our country has had enough harm over 2. We don't need strike 3 we are out.
BUSH'S GO HOME!
Another Bush For President you say? Uh Huh When hell frezzes over
Looks like The Dems can pick up another Senate seat in 2010. Run Jebby Run
This would not surprise me at all. he should of been presidnet in the first place.!!!!
Chuck you;ve got a realproblem. Go get educated then comment!!
What a bunch of hate filled people. Can any of you speak your minds without being so ugly and hateful?
He certainly has the right to do so if he chooses!!! However given his brother's reputation and what the name "Bush" has become to imply he will have great difficulty A) to win B) to convince he is different C) to actually be functional without being every time compared to George W. If we believe in movie "W", brother George screwed it up all for everybody : )
And for those of you conclusion jumper, where does it say he wants to president?
I just have two words... Terri Schiavo
God please save us from the killer "shrubs". Take it from a Texan, please don't elect anymore of these fools!
bushes are banned from decision making jobs for now, please tell him to go play in Maine
I live in Florida and 99% of all the problems Florida has came Jeb.
A real "special interest " leader.
I hope everyone in Fl. inderstands this.
I love the hospitality of all the moronic Obamanites and other leftists on this sight.
Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush! Bush!
Wonderful! I think the whole Bush family are great people who really care. His brother will be missed as our president. God Bless you all.