Republican Senator Marco Rubio reportedly preparing for 2016 run

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Republican Senator Marco Rubio reportedly preparing for 2016 run
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 17: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reacts to U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement about revising policies on U.S.-Cuba relations on December 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Rubio called the President a bad negotiator and criticized what he claimed was a deal with no democratic advances for Cuba. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 17: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reacts to U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement about revising policies on U.S.-Cuba relations on December 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Rubio called the President a bad negotiator and criticized what he claimed was a deal with no democratic advances for Cuba. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 17: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reacts to U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement about revising policies on U.S.-Cuba relations on December 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Rubio called the President a bad negotiator and criticized what he claimed was a deal with no democratic advances for Cuba. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
US Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, speaks during a discussion on the American family and cultural values.' at Catholic University on July 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks at Uber's headquarters March 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. Rubio participated in a discussion on the American innovation, and what he described as a need to adapt government regulations to increase economic opportunities. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
US Vice President Joe Biden attends the Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit on November 22, 2014 in Istanbul. US Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday meets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aiming to ease strains over the crisis in Syria and persuade Turkey to step up its support for the coalition against Islamic State (IS) jihadists. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 10: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden shares his memories of former White House Press Secretary James Brady during his memorial service at the Newseum October 10, 2014 in Washington, DC. After Brady was seriously wounded and permanently disabled as a result of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Ronald Reagan in 1981, he became an ardent supporter of gun control. After Brady's death last month at the age of 73, the Virginia medical examinerÕs office ruled his death a homicide and a result of the gunshot wound he received 33 years ago. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaks during the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington, DC, December 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Florida Republican Governor Jeb Bush prior to speaking at the 2014 National Summit on Education Reform in Washington, DC, November 20, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discusses 'Smart Power: Security Through Inclusive Leadership' at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, December 3, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 04: Former United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage at the 2014 Massachusetts Conference for Women at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on December 4, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Massachusetts Conference for Women)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 13: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie addressed topics ranging from state pensions to new drug addiction solutions. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
CLIVE, IA - OCTOBER 25: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) attends a Birthday Bash for Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) October 25, 2014 in Clive, Iowa. Already distinguished as the states longest -serving governor, Branstad would become the longest -serving governor in U.S. history, were he to win the November 4th election. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol January 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. Sanders spoke on 'Republican efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare and other programs of great importance to working families' during his remarks. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 04: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a protest held by furloughed federal workers outside the U.S. Capitol to demand an end to the lockout of federal workers caused by the government shutdown October 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. Today marks the fourth day of the government shutdown as Republicans and Democrats remain at an impasse over funding the federal government. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 16: Mitt Romney is greeted by fellow Republicans at a dinner during the Republican National Committee's Annual Winter Meeting aboard the USS Midway on January 16, 2015 in San Diego, California. Romney is contemplating a possible 2016 presidential run. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
ANCHORAGE, AK - NOVEMBER 03: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the crowd during a rally for Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan at a PenAir airplane hangar on November 3, 2014 in Anchorage, Alaska. The U.S. Senate race in Alaska between incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and Republican candidate Dan Sullivan continues to be closely contested. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at an event to support his reelection on October 30, 2014 in New York City. Citizens go to the polls next Tuesday, November 4. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the dedication ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial Museum May 15, 2014 in New York City. The museum spans seven stories, mostly underground, and contains artifacts from the attack on the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001 that include the 80 ft high tridents, the so-called 'Ground Zero Cross,' the destroyed remains of Company 21's New York Fire Department Engine as well as smaller items such as letter that fell from a hijacked plane and posters of missing loved ones projected onto the wall of the museum. The museum will open to the public on May 21. (Photo by John Munson-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) addresses the second annual Conservative Policy Summit at the Heritage Foundation January 12, 2015 in Washington, DC. The theme for the summit this year is 'Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 16: Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) questions witnesses during a hearing about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. Senators questioned the top military and civilian leaders about the threat posed by the terrorist group calling itself ISIL. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks at the 5th Birthday And Beyond event at the Russell Senate Office Building on June 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
US Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, answers a question following a meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, DC, on September 2, 2013. US Senator John McCain said Monday that Congress's failure to authorize military action in Syria would be 'catastrophic' because it would undermine US credibility. AFP Photo/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - APRIL 12: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks at the Freedom Summit at The Executive Court Banquet Facility April 12, 2014 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Freedom Summit held its inaugural event where national conservative leaders bring together grassroots activists on the eve of tax day. Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 29: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks during the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 29, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC, which is scheduled to conclude August 30. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 16: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) poses for a photo outside the Peppermill Restaurant & Fireside Lounge on January 16, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Paul is heavily speculated to enter the presidential race next year. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
US Republican Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul addresses the 2015 Conservative Policy Summit at the Heritage Foundation in Washington,DC on January 13, 2015. Paul is a possible presidential candidate in next year's election. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 27: Governor Rick Perry of Texas waits on the field prior to the start of the game between the LSU Tigers and the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on November 27, 2014 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 4: Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the victory party for Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott after an apparent victory over Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis on November 4, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Republicans won the majority of the US Senate for the first time in 8 years after Americans went to the polls and voted in the mid-term elections. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
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(Reuters) - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is preparing to launch a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, signing on a prominent fundraiser and planning trips to early voting states, a Rubio adviser said on Friday.

Rubio has chosen Anna Rogers, the finance director for conservative group American Crossroads founded by former President George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, to lead his fundraising effort, the adviser told Reuters in an email.

"We hired Rogers, will fundraise in California next week and visit early states next month," the adviser said, requesting anonymity.

Rogers will start work on Rubio's political action committee on Feb. 1 and become the finance director of his presidential campaign, the adviser said.

ABC first reported the moves, quoting a senior Rubio aide as saying, "He has told us to proceed as if he is running for president."

Rubio, a Cuban American whose entry into the race was in question after fellow Florida Republican Jeb Bush, the son and brother of former U.S. presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, moved toward a candidacy this month.

A Bush candidacy complicated the path to the White House for potential Republican rivals, including Mitt Romney, who ran unsuccessfully in 2008 and 2012. Other 2016 hopefuls competing for Republican fundraising dollars include New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Rubio will make a fundraising trip through California next week and scheduled a book tour that will include stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, his adviser said.

Rubio is up for re-election to the Senate in 2016. Florida does not allow candidates to run concurrent congressional and presidential campaigns.

The 43-year-old Rubio, who served in the Florida legislature while Bush was governor, would compete with many of the same donors in their home state.

In an appearance Wednesday after the State of the Union address, Rubio said Bush, with whom he is close, is a "very credible candidate" who could raise the amount of money necessary to run a presidential campaign.

But he also said the foreign policy experience he gained in the Senate would set him apart from the current and former governors making a White House bid.

Rubio was a fierce critic of President Barack Obama's move last month to normalize relations with Cuba.

The candidates could clash on immigration, with Rubio having worked to placate conservative Republicans furious over a sweeping immigration reform bill he helped write two years ago. Bush, whose wife is Mexican-born, said in April that illegal immigrants who come to the United States to provide for their families are not committing a felony but an "act of love."

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