Excerpted from “Sources: Gov. Charlie Crist to run as independent; Charlie Crist will be in St. Petersburg on Thursday for the announcement
” By Jim Stratton and Aaron Deslatte, Orlando Sentinel
, 6:14 p.m. EDT, April 28, 2010
arring an 11th-hour change of heart, Gov. Charlie Crist will turn Florida's U.S. Senate race on its head by formally announcing he will run as an independent and leave the party that made him one of the most recognizable politicians in the state.
Crist plans to launch his independent bid in his hometown of St. Petersburg, according to two sources close to the governor, portraying himself as a candidate more interested in serving "the people" than party bosses.
He will begin campaigning almost immediately, having already scheduled a weekend fundraiser in South Florida, the sources said.
His long-rumored break from the Republican Party will turn Florida's Senate race into the hottest political ticket in the country – a three-way scrum pitting Crist against Marco Rubio, the charismatic favorite of movement conservatives and tea party activists, and likely Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek. …