April 28th, 2010
03:26 PM ET
4 years ago

Crist to run for Senate as independent candidate

ALT TEXT

 Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will run for senator as an independent candidate. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)


(CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has decided to run as an independent rather than compete for the Republican Party nomination in his bid for the Senate, multiple sources tell CNN.

One of the sources, a fundraiser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Crist has begun contacting financial supporters to tell them that he is running as a non-party affiliated candidate and to ask for their continued support.

Once the overwhelming favorite in the battle for the Republican Senate nomination, Crist is now trailing former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio by more than 20 points, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month.

But the survey offered hope Crist could win in November if he ran as an independent. In this scenario, Crist would have a slight edge over Rubio and a larger lead over Rep. Kendrick Meek, the likely Democratic nominee, in a three-way general election match up.

Crist is expected to officially declare his intentions during an event Thursday afternoon in his hometown of St. Petersburg. Crist's campaign is calling it "a candidate qualifying event." Crist has until Friday to declare his intentions.

If Crist does decide to launch an independent bid, a source tells CNN that one of his main GOP consultants, Public Opinion Strategies, will leave the campaign.

–CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger and CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby contributed to this report


Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Crist • Florida • Popular Posts
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. CPAFlorida

    He was getting spanked in the polls by an unknown republican so he decides to switch to an independent. Won't matter though, his political career is now over. We've known about his switch here in Florida since before his veto of the education bill. That veto just confirmed it when he sided with the teacher unions over the overwelming percentage of Florida voters that supported that bill. Do you really want a senator that puts his political career ahead of the best interest of the nation. He is nothing but a political traitor, just like Spector. They are both scum bags, doesn't matter though, Rubio will still win handily. Sorry haters. Oh by the way, since all you dems are supporting a white guy over a hispanic, doesn't that make you all racist. Sorry to turn the tables on you.

    April 28, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Hoooah Boy

    What?!? The Republican's Republican is deciding to throw in the towel? To pull the proverbial Sarah Palin? This cannot be? Why must we quit, whenever the going gets tough? If we are losing, simply accept defeat?

    April 28, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. HBO

    Good move! Now run Rubio's tea-partying butt out of town!

    April 28, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Peter

    SocialismBad April 28th, 2010 3:37 pm ET

    Oh well... Crist just destroyed his political future. After he gets his clock cleaned by Rubio, he'll have NOTHING and NO WHERE TO GO. Another politcal career destroyed by a hug from Obama. What a fool Crist is....

    The silent majority in this country like Independents in this country how do you think Obama won in the first place...when they move elecctions move...this is nothing but a smart move by crist...mark it he will win...easily too...

    April 28, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Sue, Vienna, VA

    All I can say is "Good for him!" Finally a republican (former) who has a mind of his own, is not afraid to stand up for himself, and is not intimidated to stand up to the threats from his fellow party members. Today's republican party reminds me of a flock of sheep following their herders, That would be the likes of Bonheur, McConnell, Graham, McCain, and the rest of their ilk. I'm glad this sheep left the flock for greener pastures!

    April 28, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Paul from Phoenix

    Lets see how many libs have forgotten Joe Liberman already...

    April 28, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. geecee

    Glad to hear it. He will win. I don't think Rubio or Meeks can get more votes than Crist will – from both independents, disenfranchised Republicans, and even some Democrats who aren't familiar with Meeks. Good for you Charlie, hope you win it for Florida!

    April 28, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Rubio needs to be taken down, his leadership would be harmful to American Politics and the American People.

    April 28, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Jim Brodie

    Kendrick Meek, the wind is now at your back!

    April 28, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Peter

    CPAFlorida April 28th, 2010 3:57 pm ET

    He was getting spanked in the polls by an unknown republican so he decides to switch to an independent. Won't matter though, his political career is now over. We've known about his switch here in Florida since before his veto of the education bill. That veto just confirmed it when he sided with the teacher unions over the overwelming percentage of Florida voters that supported that bill. Do you really want a senator that puts his political career ahead of the best interest of the nation. He is nothing but a political traitor, just like Spector. They are both scum bags, doesn't matter though, Rubio will still win handily. Sorry haters. Oh by the way, since all you dems are supporting a white guy over a hispanic, doesn't that make you all racist. Sorry to turn the tables on you.

    wow you are easily misled at least the Democratic party is home to hispanic/latino population of this country and not passing laws (ie Arizona) to discriminate against them by having them show their immigration papers when they take a stroll down the road to the local ice cream shop or raid hispanic restaurants demanding papers form employees and guests alike...what a shame! Shame on the Republicans!!!

    April 28, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Jeff

    HBO April 28th, 2010 3:58 pm ET

    Good move! Now run Rubio's tea-partying butt out of town!

    UMMMM if Crist could beat Rubio... he wouldn't be dropping out of the Republican primary... he is a sore loser is all. Wishy washy politicial... just what we need more of in DC...

    April 28, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Peter

    Paul from Phoenix April 28th, 2010 4:02 pm ET

    Lets see how many libs have forgotten Joe Liberman already...

    Dems may not like lieberman, but we dont criticize him for being independent thought only when he acts and talks like a Republican instead of a true independent...

    April 28, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "The solutions for our countrys trouble are not ,RIGHT OR LEFT of center,they are IN the CENTER."

    That's as "partisan" as sayign only the right or left have the answers. Truth and real world pragmatic solutions based on facts and evidence carry no affiliation.

    April 28, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. vahe

    GOOD for you dude... oo wait so GOP didnt work for him, now his running as independent? WOOOOWW just big woooowwsss. GOP is the main problem here.

    April 28, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "UMMMM if Crist could beat Rubio... he wouldn't be dropping out of the Republican primary... "

    That's a primary, genius. It has nothing to do with the general election. He can't beat Rubio with ONLY GOPers VOTING. He will, at the very least, draw a significant number of votes away from Rubio when EVERYONE is voting.

    April 28, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. The unsub

    good for Crist....never a republican

    April 28, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. TCM

    it's an Obama ploy to pull away votes from Rubio to the dumfounded democrat....not going to work; Rubio's going to clean house, and use Crist as the mop

    April 28, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Hugo

    Hey Charlie in Maine: Rubio and Crist are running for a Senate seat not for Governor... Crist is already a REPUBLICAN Governor, like most liberals, you seem ignorant and uninformed. Go O-baaaa baaaaa!

    April 28, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Donnatella

    Good for him, it's about time somebody let those rabid teabaggers know that they cannot control politics.

    April 28, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. jbakaregit

    To the poster Obama the liar, you just keep on booting out moderate Republicans if you want to. The right-wing fringe tea partiers aren't going to win the GOP any state or national elections.

    April 28, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Ruty

    Way to go Charlie. I hope you win!

    April 28, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Constitution believer

    Good for him!

    April 28, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. key

    Wasn't guys like Crist and McCain in the GOP leadership just two years ago. That says a lot of the republicans party.

    April 28, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. upstate barbara

    Fantastic! Now I believe in C(h)rist!

    April 28, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Peter

    vahe April 28th, 2010 4:11 pm ET

    GOOD for you dude... oo wait so GOP didnt work for him, now his running as independent? WOOOOWW just big woooowwsss. GOP is the main problem here.

    The GOP only works for pea brained lock step walking neaderthals not a single independent thought or brain wave...how dare you say the earth is round...the earth is flat...the Republicans dont even care to acknowledge any scientific fact/eveidence...mental retardation is the order of the day/requirement to be a card carrying REPUB...

    April 28, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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