May 12th, 2009
09:40 AM ET
9 years ago

Crist announces Senate run

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.

Filed under: Charlie Crist
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Charlie may have a chance of winning since he supported the stimulus bill. He seriously needs to consider switching parties.

    May 12, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. Danka1

    Good for him. That is why I voted for him for Governor. He is a good man and will do great things in the senate.

    May 12, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. JK Ashburn, VA

    Oh swell. Arlen Specter with hair and a tan. We finally get rid of one RINO and now we're getting another to replace him. Well, at least as a US Senator, he can't do as much damage as he can (and has done) as governor.

    May 12, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Saint Genesius

    I'm a Democrat and I certainly would have liked to see the Democrats pick up that Senate seat, but if it has to be a Republican Crist would certainly be my pick. He is a class act and he has done a terrific job for Florida as Governor –especially considering the terrible job Jeb Bush did.

    May 12, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  5. Anonymous

    May Jesus Christ bless Crist and May he win! He is a rare GOP breed who actually is a good guy.

    May 12, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Let's see how long Mr. Moderate does on the campaign trail...if I hear anything Kantor-esque or Shelby-esque, then we know the bad guys got to him!

    May 12, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. Jayden,FL

    Cutting and running when things are getting hard huh Governor!

    May 12, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. Peggy

    As a Floridian, I would rather see Charlie stay governor. I hope he doesn't change his moderate stance just to win the nomination. Since none of the Democrats listed are familiar to me, I could almost see myself voting for Crist.

    May 12, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. Liberal Floridian

    Not surprising. Gov. Crist basically 'checked out' about the time his name was mentioned as a possible VP candidate for the GOP. Considering he hasn't really been much of a governor since then, I don't think we'll miss him when he leaves Tally to run for the Senate.

    May 12, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. worried Floridian

    Oh lord, I wonder who will be running for governor here. Let me know how terrible they will be so I can try to choose what state I will love to!

    May 12, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. SK Hunter

    I sure wish he stilled in PA....Upstanding, smart, intelligent man.

    May 12, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. Jim

    It's nice to see a gay Republican running for Senate. Maybe he can help turn around the Republican Party's misguided gay rights policies.

    May 12, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. enough

    I am not a big fan of republicans but I will give Crist some credit he seems to be moderate and compassionate.

    May 12, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Patriotic American

    Is he running as a Democrat? Crist is a RINO. See what Dick Cheney said yesterday; you're either with Rush or you're with the terrorists.

    May 12, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Jaimon

    A 'moderate' Republican fills Mel Martinez' seat? A win for Democrats.

    May 12, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. harold

    Whats this dude great ambition to do in the Senate for the American people.?..... smaller government to fight the WARS... smaller government to fight the Recession?... Does he want to get the 50 million USA people who have NO health insurance now... get health insurance?.. Just what is his plan besides sitting in the swivel chair and sliding through his Senate work day.......?..working for the people or working for himself?

    May 12, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. Mario, mtl, ca.

    he should join the dem party, easier on gay rights........

    May 12, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. Frank

    It's to bad the Far right Extremist will choose party over country. The Far right will parade some ultra conservative Bible toting canidid to try and win the reppublican nomination and do damage to Crist.

    May 12, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. Ed Tallahassee FL

    I've met Charlie. Personable Guy I think he is one of the few chances that the Republicans had of retaining Mel Martinez's seat.

    The question is who will the Democrats run against him?

    How long will it take for Alex Sink to announce that she wants to be Governor?

    Also if he gets elected how long will it take for Rush to go after him for not being a “Real” Republican?

    May 12, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |

    Crist Boss Limbaugh and Cheney aint Having it your a Moderate therefore you are not Welcomed in their party!

    May 12, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. James Whitsett

    It would be great if when he got to Washington he came out and actually voted for some gay rights issues

    May 12, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. down down goes the GOP

    and with any luck the independants will rise to take their place

    May 12, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  23. James

    I like Crist, but I won't vote for him. I will continue to vote Democrat, because Democrats have brains and actually use them.

    May 12, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. AM

    Charlie Crist was not a good fit for the governor position even though he has high approval ratings. I doubt he will be a good fit for a senate
    position either or god help us, a president.

    May 12, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Dee

    The show that never ends, Who will bring the popcorn. We get to watch the GOP take ech other apart for the next 3 1/2 years only to elect a Dem to office. The last election here in Florida shows that the state is no longer Red.

    May 12, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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