O frabjous day! Bense out, Harris still in, Florida GOP screwed

'Tis a joyous noise:

Citing both family and business considerations, House Speaker Allan Bense announced Wednesday that he will not challenge U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Bense's decision leaves the Republican Party with no alternative to Harris, who trails far behind Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in polls. The deadline for candidates to qualify for the Senate seat is noon Friday. [...]

Bense's announcement is sure to be a major letdown to Gov. Jeb Bush and other leading Republicans, who have aggressively been searching for an alternative to Harris.

The Sarasota Congresswoman's Senate candidacy has been hobbled by a series of missteps and staff turnover, and she is far behind Nelson in fund-raising even after putting $3-million of her own money into her campaign.

The Florida Republican Party is taking the news rather stoically, eh?

"If she's the Republican candidate, the best we can hope for is that she doesn't bring down the rest of the ticket," said Brian Ballard, a lobbyist and fund-raiser for Attorney General Charlie Crist, a candidate for governor.

Oh, let's hope for that anyway.

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