Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee Chairman JJ Beyrouti released a statement on Charlie Crist’s decision to drop out of the GOP primary and run as an Independent:
It is with deep regret that we receive the news today that Governor Charlie Crist has chosen to abandon the Republican Primary process and seek election to the United States Senate as a candidate with no party affiliation.
The process used by the Republican Party to pick its nominees is carefully designed to allow each and every member of our Party to express his or her preferences among the various candidates from within the Party’s ranks. This process ensures that only the very strongest candidates emerge, to represent the Republican Party and its values in the General Election.
It has long been a fundamental principle shared by the members of our Party, that those who participate in our primary process are bound not just by its rules, but also its results. It has also been the enduring strength of the Republican Party that those who are not selected by this process will set aside all personal self-interest and support the Party’s nominee.
Governor Crist has been with the Republican Party for a long time and the Party has been his bulwark in each of his many election campaigns. With today’s disappointing announcement however, he is out of the Republican Primary and is now our opponent.
A cornerstone of the Republican Party is an enduring belief in individual liberty. This belief underlines the Republican Party’s goals of less government, lower taxes, and more freedom, and it must in all instances prevail over the personal ambitions of any one person or group.
It is with these principles in mind that the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee will now dedicate and focus its undivided efforts in supporting our Republican nominee in their quest for election to the United States Senate.