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Report: Fla. GOP Courts Scarborough for Senate

Two local businessmen active in Republican Party politics say the GOP is courting cable TV host Joe Scarborough (search) to replace U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris (search) in the 2006 Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson.

Scarborough, a former U.S. representative, has met with senior Republican officials, Collier Merrill, a Pensacola businessman told the Pensacola News Journal in a report for Wednesday's editions.

The other businessman, Eric Nickelsen, said he had contacted Scarborough and encouraged him to run, and he corroborated that other party leaders wanted the cable talk show host to challenge Harris.

Scarborough declined to comment late Tuesday. He was sent to Congress four times from the Pensacola (search) area, beginning in 1994.

Some polls have shown Harris lagging behind Nelson. But Harris's campaign manager, Jim Dornan, said Harris has no plans to step out of the race.

Harris is best known for her role as Florida's then-secretary of state during the 2000 presidential recount.