On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., endorsed state House Majority Leader Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, in the crowded Republican primary to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., in Congress.

“The 21st-century challenges facing our nation are unprecedented, and we need leaders in Congress who know how to get results,” said Rubio. “As Republican majority leader of the Florida House of Representatives, Dane has proven time and time again his commitment to our conservative values, and his principles and track record of results make him the most qualified person in this race. I am proud to endorse Dane Eagle for Congress, and I look forward to working with him on behalf of all Floridians and our country.”

“Senator Rubio has distinguished himself as a leader in our party and our nation, and his steadfast principles and legislative strides have made our country a better place for Americans to live and work. I am incredibly humbled by what his endorsement means to me, and I am proud of the momentum our campaign continues to build. I look forward to working with Senator Rubio in Washington,” Eagle said.

Eagle has also won the support of U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., incoming state Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Spring Hill, and incoming state House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor.

Other Republican hopefuls include disabled rights activist Darren Aquino, businessman Casey Askar, state Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, urologist Dr. William Figlesthaler, Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson, Daniel Kowal who served in the Army and in law enforcement, activist Christy McLaughlin and former Minnesota state Rep. Doc Severson. Educator and businesswoman Cindy Banyai and businessman David Holden are running in the Democratic primary. The seat is generally considered secure for the Republicans.


Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

Kevin Derby
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