Harris decides not to run for U.S. Senate

January 17, 2004|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

MIAMI - Until the final moment, U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris kept her supporters and foes guessing whether she would run for an open Senate seat in Florida. Yesterday, the Republican who certified George W. Bush the victor of the 2000 presidential election in Florida announced her decision.

"After careful deliberation I am here to announce my candidacy for the U.S. Senate," Harris told supporters, who burst into cheers and applause.

"But just not this year," she said, stunning the crowd.

Some Republican Party operatives had worried that Harris' name on the ballot might galvanize Democratic voters and harm President Bush's re-election chances in Florida, which he carried by a slender 537-vote margin in 2000.

As Florida's secretary of state at the time, Harris oversaw the disputed vote count.

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