May 12th, 2009
09:40 AM ET
5 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. Randolph Carter

    I want to see his birth certificate. I hear he's a Buddhist. Seriously, though, if he's a moderate republican I wish him luck. Have a nice day!

    May 12, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. jean albert

    Once crist gets to the senate,he would swich to dnc. Big win for barack

    May 12, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Patrish

    New wife, New life? LOL As democrat voted for him for Governor and I've been happy with him. A moderate republican. he should do a fine job in the senate.

    May 12, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Chris Cantwell, Bradenton FL

    I did not think highly of Charlie Crist particularly in his dealings with FL House Speaker Ray Sansom & his approval of a budget that funneled over 35 Million to Florida's Northwest college which earned Sansom a 110K position at the school as a thank you.

    The budget also included a 6 million dollar tax payer gift for the construction of an airplane hanger at the school . A exact match to a previously submitted & declined request by one of the largest donors to the RPOF, Jay Odom. They even used the same engineering company that drafted the plans for Odom's version.

    All with Charlie Crist's approval.

    May 12, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Frank

    I would rather see him remain our governor. He's pretty much a straight shooter which is why I fully expect the Republican party to shove him out the door in a few years. I would hate to see him become a Democrat but in many ways he already thinks like one. He's got that same kind of warped Democratic idea of compassion, where he's for all kinds of nice to have programs so long as he's not the one having to pay for them. Dems are great at beating the compassion drum until its time to pay up. I am going to laugh my butt off many years from now when the middle class democrats actually have to start sharing in footing the bill for all of Obama's compassion. I love all that Democratic compassion we have locally when the county tries to raise property tax rates to save jobs and many of those compassionate programs. Its funny how the arguement changes from we need these things to we just can't afford them.

    May 12, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. KtotheJ

    This guy single handedly lost the republicans the election with his endorsment of McCain over Romney. He endorsed Obamas stimulas package...which has yet to stimulate anybody's package. We do not need this joker in the senate.

    May 12, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. goawayrepublicans

    He is way too modrate and backed Obama's stimulas, the right wing of the republican party will never back him in the primary.
    The party only accepts true conservatives these days, does Crist not know that? Sad but true, that this party has reduced themselves to such a narrow minded set of people and principles. The likes of Charlie would be too good for them to say the least,

    May 12, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Enlightened Voter

    He may be an ok guy but haven't we had enough of republicans ruining this country????

    May 12, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. donttreadonme

    Favoring gay marriage is not exactly a moderate postition to take? It is still pretty far left.

    May 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    I love the comments to the effect of "I like him but I won't vote for him because I only vote democrat".

    Poor, poor reasoning. Al Franken comes to mind.

    Unless we elect the best candidates, regardless of party, we are surely doomed.

    May 12, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Stan

    As a moderate Floridian, I would much rather have Crist as senator than Bush. I seriously doubt any Democratic candidate could win against Crist or Bush, especially since the seat is currently held by a Republican. The really good news for Floridians is that with Crist out of the way, we have a good shot at getting a moderate Democrat as our governor. We need a Democrat as governor to offset the gerrymandered majority of overwhelmingly conservative Good Ol Boys in our state legislature.

    Jeb Bush was a popular governor, but he benefited from some fortunate economic breaks. The housing bubble filled the state coffers so he didn't have to make any tough choices. The hurricanes of 2004 also unleashed many billions in insurance payouts, which pumped up Florida's economy through 2006. As long as the money was rolling in, he seemed like a great guy. He is a self-righteous ideologue unwilling to compromise, along the lines of Dick Cheney. God help us all if he ever reaches the national stage.

    Crist, on the other hand, is much more fluffy. He's interested in his own personal achievement, and will bend to prevailing opinion so long as he keeps floating up.

    May 12, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. hjs3

    Hmm.. A moderate Republican? Wow! This might be a novel if not unique experience....

    May 12, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. Michael

    Everything Republicans say makes perfect sense if you bear in mind that when they talk about "we Americans", "us", "our nation", and so on, they mean greedy investors who value dividends over quality of life for all American children.

    May 12, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Frozone

    Crist seems like a competent, capable leader. I'm sure the GOP and Boss Limbaugh will run him out on a rail.

    May 12, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Bill Courson

    Another closeted gay man, holding office as a "Family Values" Republicanazi. This is becoming get boring.

    May 12, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Cindy PA

    Charlie Crist is one Politician that may gain more popularity over the coming years. I have thought many times about Republican moderates and he has come to my mind.
    Maybe he is what the GOP needs. They obviously need someone to look to for leadership.

    May 12, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Luke Brown

    Is he even pretending to do anything as Governor these days?

    He should probably resign as Governor if he isn't going to pay attention to his duties. The election isn't for another 18 months and the people of Florida should have somebody in there who cares about doing the job.

    Did he ever get married, or was that just for the VP slot?

    May 12, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Darryl

    They just keep electing Gays from Florida what does this say about family values?

    May 12, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. Nic R.

    Althouth I am nota big fan of the republicans I like Crist. He is notas radically conservative as many other republicans. I have a feeling he is going to run for president someday and he will be the "new republican." I'm going to wait to see what other candidates are going to run, but so far he's in the lead.

    May 12, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Seems fairly sensible–less of a religious nut/foreign affairs paranoiac than most of the few remaining Republicans.

    May 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. a southern progressive

    glad i am moving north. he may be a moderate, but we all know what happens to moderate republicans when they attempt to enter the national stage... (ie. mitt romney, once pro-choice, now claims adamently anti-choice)

    May 12, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Adam from Ohio

    Charlie Crist for the third closeted gay Republican senator! Yay!

    May 12, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. FL Guy

    Goodby Crist, maybe we will get a Governor that will DO something! This guy hasn't done one thing for Fl, all he does is talk. He wanted to be McCains VP and now he thinks Obama is the best thing since silced bread. A person can be a good politician or a bad politician, is it too much to ask them to be honest? (maybe it is)

    May 12, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. a southern progressive

    crist has made florida dumber... by cutting the source of most county's education budgets.

    he may be a moderate republican, but he is still a republican...

    for those of you who do not live here, dont be fooled.

    May 12, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Audrey

    The party of NO is going get another tanned member. Crist is making a
    big mistake. Even though he wants to do great things as a republican
    senator, his grand ole party is not going to allow him to have an opinion
    of his own. He will not be allowed to offer any 21st century solutions.
    He must always vote NO. Now Crist, is this what you want for your life?

    May 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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