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Deveron Gibbons joins Charlie Crist in leaving Republican Party

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Former St. Petersburg, Florida, mayoral candidate Deveron Gibbons spoke with a political science class at Eckerd College on Wednesday night and revealed that he was no longer a registered Republican. He was the guest speaker that the instructor invited to talk with the class about lobbying.

At one point during the class, the floor was open to questions. One student commented on his own perception that Gibbons was a moderate among a very conservative Republican Party in Florida. The student then asked Gibbons what he thought about recent developments, to which Gibbons responded by saying that it was funny that the student had asked the question, because he had just changed his party affiliation earlier in the day. Gibbons stated that he had switched from Republican to No Party Affiliation.

The Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office confirmed Gibbons’ party on Thursday morning. He is now listed as INT, or Independent Party, a common mistake made by people seeking to have the No Party Affiliation designation. (There is actually a political party in Florida with the name Independent Party.)

Gibbons informed the class of the party registration change less than 24 hours before his friend, Governor Charlie Crist, was set to share his future political plans. Although many longtime political allies have distanced themselves from Governor Crist in recent days, it appears that Mr. Gibbons may be sticking with his friend, and may also play a significant role in the Crist campaign.

Update: In addition to Gibbons, longtime Crist supporter Watson Haynes also switched his party registration today.

By the way, I got that first part from a new blog from Steve Lapinski.  Check it out here.

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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