Crist to Announce Run for U.S. Senate
Governor Charlie Crist will officially launch his campaign for United States Senate tomorrow, the Florida Capital News service is reporting. The question of "will he, or won't he" has been hanging over Tallahassee for weeks now, with most insiders expecting Crist to take the plunge.
"I think Charlie Crist will be the next U.S. Senator," state GOP Chairman Jim Greer was quoted as saying in an interview Sunday night.
Greer continued: "There is a conversation going on in Washington about how to solve the challenges and problems that Floridians are facing and I believe Charlie Crist recognizes that if he's going to be part of that conversation — if he's going to be able to provide leadership in solving those problems for people — he's got to be in Washington and he's got to be part of that conversation."
The governor already has some competition in his own party's primary, with former House Speaker Marco Rubio and former NH Senator Bob Smith having already declared themselves candidates for Senate.
A poll taken for the SayfieReview in early April by the independent Mason-Dixon firm showed 18 percent of Republicans would definitely not vote for Crist, just five points shy of the 23 percent who said they definitely would vote for the governor.
A Quinnipiac University poll taken in mid-April showed Crist leading Rubio by 54 percent to 8 percent. A whopping 64 percent of Florida voters still see Crist favorably, while just 22 percent view him unfavorably.
Crist's announcement will likely set off a chain reaction of announcements, with the potential that every member of the current State Cabinet will announce that they are running for Governor. CFO Alex Sink, Attorney General Bill McCollum, and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson have all expressed interest in the race, if Crist decided to run for Senate.
No word yet on Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp's plans, or if Crist will officially back anyone to replace him as governor.