Senate candidate Rubio cancels County Tea Party appearance

VERO BEACH — Republican Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio Tuesday canceled his scheduled trip to Holman Stadium to headline an Indian River Tea Party event.Rubio cut short a planned four-day bus tour that was to have included visiting Indian River County on Friday to return to Miami to be with his 83-year-old father who has been diagnosed with a recurrence return of lung cancer. Rubio’s Web site is just listing stops in Orlando and The Villages on Tuesday and then an 8 a.m. trip to Belleview on Wednesday as part of his “Take A Stand” bus tour which was to have visited 14 cities in four days.Rubio, 38, has surged ahead of Gov. Charlie Crist to become the front-runner to win the Republican Senate primary. His popularity has been fueled in large part to his conservative views compared to Crist and he has become a favorite among people who align themselves with the less government stand of the Tea Party movement.The Indian River Tea Party event, which drew a crowd in the thousands last year, is expected to go on as planned Friday from noon to 1 p.m. at Holman Stadium.

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