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Florida GOP readies for Charlie Crist’s departure

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The Florida Republican Party is getting ready for Gov. Charlie Crist’s departure as an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Party general counsel Jason Gonzalez wrote a memo warning that members of the State Executive Committee or county GOP committees may not support anyone but Republicans in elections. Rule 9 of the state party’s bylaws requires party loyalty.

Crist is expected to file as an independent next week, bypassing the Aug. 24 Republican primary for the Senate. As a non-party candidate, Crist can remain a member of the Republican Party but he goes on the November general election ballot, without a primary.

State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, who is state party chairman said on Wednesday he was looking into the legalities of Crist’s move. He said he still hopes Crist won’t leave the party. Continue reading 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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