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Marco Rubio challenges Charlie Crist to a series of debates

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Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) has invited fellow Senate candidate Gov. Charlie Crist (R) to a series of debates over the next 14 months. In a letter sent to Crist this morning, Rubio admits that he’ll likely face a steep fundraising disadvantage and “have to work twice as hard as you to remain competitive.”

Rubio wants at least 10 debates, with one in each of Florida’s media markets. The televised debates will help Rubio pick up some free media exposure, which he’ll need with Crist surely to blanket the airwaves with ads.

“While we are opponents for the same office, I am also confident we can maintain a cordial and respectful debate that will help our campaigns rise above the typical 30-second commercials, slick slogans and bumper stickers that define too many of our country’s political contests,” Rubio writes.

Rubio and Crist will officially face off August 24, 2010, when Florida primary voters head to the polls.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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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