(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.
God help us all. NO MORE BUSH IN OFFICE – EVER!!!
This whole family should retreat to an island and never be heard from again. Jeb. Mr. "Rush to get the Senate to oppose taking Terry Schiavo off life support." Is this the kind of action we can expect from him?
The United States cannot afford any more Bushes in office.
No more Bushes! No More Bushes! No More Bushes!
Great. That's just what we need, another Bush in government. With that said Jeb's time as governor leads me to believe he would be the least damaging of the Bush crew, but I still would prefer to have the Bush's continuous failures confined to the private sector instead of in government.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! PLEASE NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! After what his brother and Father did we can not except another BUSH!!! NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
not another bush. each time a bush is in ofc, the economy get worse. even through this one is "thinking" about running for the senate. Heaven help that state. NO MORE BUSHES!!
The only difference between Jeb and George is that Jeb looks smarter than George and he only has to comb his hair to do that.
If Bush succeeds, I will run for Senate too.................
I propose a new constitutional amendment banning Bush family members (including extended family) from public service of any type. They are just too incompetent to let them play with things of importance.
As much as I despise W,it would be wrong to make Jeb suffer for his brothers sins.
Mary-We are still the majority...hahahaHOHOHO!
This is almost Biblical. Jeb is the real brains in the family, but his brother got the birthright because he arrived first. I strongly endorse a run by Jeb. The Bush connection will not be a roadblock. He should go for the Senate seat full steam ahead. Run, Jeb, run.
just another crook to the political process..... deport the bum
Just what USA needs, another Bush to really mess things up.
not another bush.plz. go away. they seem to get dumber and dumber. i feel sorry for Florida is he does. just remember the diaster of the hanging chads.
just send him to Russia with Palin–birds of a feather
I think we had enough of the Bushes. If he ever runs for president he's DEFINITELY not getting my vote.
This one might make the country worst than what W did.
To much bold ambition in one family...we've had enough of them.
Please no more of the Bush family. We have seen and been through enough of their mishandling our Nation. Just please stay home and out of the political limelight.
The apple don't fall too far from the tree.
I wondered how long it would be before another BUSH decided to run for a political office. I really thought Jeb would try for the White House this year but guess he decided to let his familys (wife, children, mother, father and of course brothers) reputation calm down a little. Lets see how long it takes for the American voter to forgot how much damage THE BUSHES have done to the United States AND Florida in the Bush quest for ruling the world. Maybe Jebs wife and kids will give up their bad habits (stealing, alcohol and drugs) but I don't know how he can repair or out live his helping his brother steal the two elections that got George into the White House in the first place.
Just Say NO!!! pretty please
President Jeb Bush and VP Sarah Palin 2012
OMG. have we not learned from Daddy and Jr - and now baby brother. Where are you americans , what does it take for people to take notice that this is very very wrong and downright scary. ,Plz put your thinking cap on and yes THINK. PW