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Buchanan announces re-election bid

MANATEE — Now that Charlie’s in, Vern’s out.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s entry into the 2010 Senate race has prompted U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan to drop his senatorial aspirations and declare that he will seek re-election to his House seat instead.

“Representing Florida’s 13th district in the U.S. House is an honor and a privilege,” Buchanan said in a news release issued today. “I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving the people.”

Buchanan, R-Sarasota, is in the middle of his second two-year term.

He began exploring the possibility of a Senate bid after Sen. Mel Martinez announced last year he would not seek another term, but polls showed Buchanan lagging far behind other potential Republican candidates, including Crist and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Crist “will make a terrific senator for the people of Florida,” Buchanan said.