(Reuters) - Florida's Republican lieutenant governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, on Wednesday dropped his bid for a U.S. Senate seat shortly after Senator Marco Rubio said he would be entering the race.

"I want to congratulate and thank Marco for his decision to pursue re-election to the U.S. Senate," Lopez-Cantera, a friend of Rubio's, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Kouichi Shirayanagi; Editing by Tim Ahmann)