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Bennett drops congressional challenge

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Senator Mike Bennett (R)

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-973272.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – State Senator Mike Bennett of Bradenton says he's not running for congress in 2012. Lynn Hatter reports, Bennett is term-limited out of the legislature this year and was considering a run against a Tampa Democratic Congresswoman.

In a written statement Bennett said the prospects of launching a federal campaign were daunting. He described the fundraising, travel requirements and Washington's current political climate as giving him "heartburn."

2012 is a special year. The state is set to redraw district lines and gain two additional Congressional seats. Bennett could have faced three possibilities. The first is a challenge to Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor, who represents the district he's currently in. But if the lines changed, he could have faced GOP Congressman Bill Young, or possibly even run for a newly-created seat.

For the time being, Bennett says once his time in the state legislature is over, he's looking forward to traveling the world and fishing. But also says this isn't the end of his political career.