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Governor joins race for U.S. Senate seat

By Staff | May 13, 2009

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Tuesday that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez, who announced in December that he would not run for a second term in order to spend more time with his family.
Crist will not run uncontested next November. Former Republican House Speaker Mark Rubio announced last week that he will run for one of Florida’s senatorial seats.
On the Democratic ticket in 2010 are state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami.
“Our country is facing the most profound public policy questions in our lifetime, questions relating to the economy, taxes, health care, the environment and national security,” Crist said in an Associated Press report.
Last year Crist also considered shifting offices. He was reportedly considered as a potential running mate for presidential nominee John McCain, and perhaps his move to the Senate could pave the way from state to national politics.
U.S. Rep Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, recently came out in support of Crist’s run for the Senate seat.
“Charlie Crist is a good friend and a great Floridian who shares our commitment to a free, secure and prosperous nation,” said Mack in a prepared statement. “He will be a great voice for Florida in the U.S. Senate, and I look forward to working with him in Washington for many, many years to come.”
Rep. Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral, said he is expecting an exciting election in 2010.
“I think it will make for an exciting and dynamic 2010 election,” he said.
In office, Crist has maintained a 60 percent approval rating and has remained relatively popular even during an economic crisis riddled with uncontrollable foreclosures, high unemployment and a general financial meltdown.
Some analysts believe that Crist’s candidacy for Senate is an attempt by the Republican Party to retake the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate in 2010.
Currently, Democrats have 59 of the 60 votes required in the Senate to quash filibusters, although depending on the results of the Minnesota race the Democrats could seize full control.
It is unknown who will run for governor in Crist’s absence, but speculative discussions have pointed to a number of Republicans, including Attorney General Bill McCollum, Rep. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota, former Speaker of House Allan Bense and Agricultural Commissioner Charles Bronson.
On the Democratic side, the strongest candidate may be Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.
With Crist leaving office, the members of his Cabinet are now poised to run for the governor’s position, explained Aubuchon.
“With Gov. Crist announcing that today, it opens the potential that other members of the Cabinet will be vying for the governor’s position,” he said.
Florida Democrats have already released a statement against Crist’s run for Senate.
“Charlie Crist’s record in Florida is not one to be proud of,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Communications Director Eric Schultz. “His administration has created an economic mess with record deficits, staggering unemployment and a mortgage crisis that has hit nearly every Florida community.”
Some conservative groups have also questioned Crist’s decision. The Conservative-Republican Alliance, an organization based in Fort Lauderdale, said it looks forward to Crist being a member of the U.S. Senate but questions his motives.
Javier Manjarres, founder of the alliance, said it is unlikely that Crist, as one senator within a 100-member House controlled by Democrats, will have more power to influence Florida politics than he has had in the governor’s seat.

Governor joins race for U.S. Senate seat

By Staff | May 13, 2009

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Tuesday that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez, who announced in December that he would not run for a second term in order to spend more time with his family.

Crist will not run uncontested next November. Former Republican House Speaker Mark Rubio announced last week that he will run for one of Florida’s senatorial seats.

On the Democratic ticket in 2010 are state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami.

“Our country is facing the most profound public policy questions in our lifetime, questions relating to the economy, taxes, health care, the environment and national security,” Crist said in an Associated Press report.

Last year Crist also considered shifting offices. He was reportedly considered as a potential running mate for presidential nominee John McCain, and perhaps his move to the Senate could pave the way from state to national politics.

U.S. Rep Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, recently came out in support of Crist’s run for the Senate seat.

“Charlie Crist is a good friend and a great Floridian who shares our commitment to a free, secure and prosperous nation,” said Mack in a prepared statement. “He will be a great voice for Florida in the U.S. Senate, and I look forward to working with him in Washington for many, many years to come.”

Rep. Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral, said he is expecting an exciting election in 2010.

“I think it will make for an exciting and dynamic 2010 election,” he said.

In office, Crist has maintained a 60 percent approval rating and has remained relatively popular even during an economic crisis riddled with uncontrollable foreclosures, high unemployment and a general financial meltdown.

Some analysts believe that Crist’s candidacy for Senate is an attempt by the Republican Party to retake the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate in 2010.

Currently, Democrats have 59 of the 60 votes required in the Senate to quash filibusters, although depending on the results of the Minnesota race the Democrats could seize full control.

It is unknown who will run for governor in Crist’s absence, but speculative discussions have pointed to a number of Republicans, including Attorney General Bill McCollum, Rep. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota, former Speaker of House Allan Bense and Agricultural Commissioner Charles Bronson.

On the Democratic side, the strongest candidate may be Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.

With Crist leaving office, the members of his Cabinet are now poised to run for the governor’s position, explained Aubuchon.

“With Gov. Crist announcing that today, it opens the potential that other members of the Cabinet will be vying for the governor’s position,” he said.

Florida Democrats have already released a statement against Crist’s run for Senate.

“Charlie Crist’s record in Florida is not one to be proud of,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Communications Director Eric Schultz. “His administration has created an economic mess with record deficits, staggering unemployment and a mortgage crisis that has hit nearly every Florida community.”

Some conservative groups have also questioned Crist’s decision. The Conservative-Republican Alliance, an organization based in Fort Lauderdale, said it looks forward to Crist being a member of the U.S. Senate but questions his motives.

Javier Manjarres, founder of the alliance, said it is unlikely that Crist, as one senator within a 100-member House controlled by Democrats, will have more power to influence Florida politics than he has had in the governor’s seat.