TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Tuesday he would not run for reelection next year, and instead will seek the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Mel Martinez.
“Our country is facing the most profound public policy questions in our lifetime – questions relating to the economy, taxes, healthcare, the environment and national security,” Crist said in a statement released by his campaign. “The answers to these questions will have a lasting impact on the country we love and the nation we will leave to our children and grandchildren.”
He later added in the statement: “Here in Florida, we’ve shown that when we put people first and work together much can be accomplished, and I intend to bring that same approach to Washington. That is why, after thoughtful consideration with my wife Carole, I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate.”
Crist, a Republican elected governor in 2006, will face former state House Speaker Marco Rubio in the GOP primary.
Rep. Kendrick Meek, North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns and state Sen. Dan Gelber are all seeking the Democratic Senate nomination.