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Crist Campaign: Charlie Crist will not run as a Democrat or Independent

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After new poll showed his GOP Senate primary challenger Marco Rubio taking a narrow lead, Florida’s Republican governor Charlie Crist met Barack Obama today in Tampa Bay, where the president announced $8 billion in stimulus funding for a high-speed rail stations. Having been needled relentlessly by Rubio for supporting the stimulus and hugging Barack Obama at a rally last spring, might Crist’s willingness to appear again with Obama signal, as The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait suggested, an openness to switching teams and running as Democrat, or perhaps as an independent?

Not a chance, says the Crist campaign. “Of course Gov. Crist would support the Republican nominee for Senate, but he has every intention of being that Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate,” Crist communications director Andrea Saul wrote in an email to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Of course, politicians can change their minds. Arlen Specter pledged just a month before he became a Democrat: “To eliminate any doubt, I am a Republican and I am running for re-election in 2010 as a Republican on the Republican ticket.” But it’s quite unlikely that Crist will run as a Democrat. For the rest of this story, please visit John McCormack’s story in the Weekly Standard.

Jonathan Chait’s article: The Party’s over for Charlie Crist, in which he writes, “The question is whether the Democrats are smart enough to woo Crist, who’s their only plausible vehicle to win that Senate seat this year,” is worth a read.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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