Dec 16, 2014 2:57 PM by News Staff
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - It's an announcement that is certain to reverberate throughout Republican politics.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he's going to "actively explore" a campaign for president. And that could pre-empt some other Republicans with White House aspirations, in the bidding for big donations and public support.
The field includes more than a dozen potential candidates, none of whom have formally announced plans to run.
Among them is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who came to prominence as a strong Bush supporter. A spokesman says he has "a lot of respect" for Bush, but that his decision on whether to seek the presidency won't be based on "who else might be running."
Still, a lobbyist in Tallahassee who was a top Florida fundraiser for the past two GOP nominees says he expects that most major donors in the state will commit to Bush. Brian Ballard says, "Florida will be off-limits to other presidential candidates" if Bush decides to run.
A spokeswoman for Bush says he'll announce his decision next year after measuring support for a run.