February 2nd, 2009
05:41 PM ET
14 years ago

Florida governor considers Senate run

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/02/art.getty.crist.jpg caption="The lure of Washington might be enough to convince Gov. Charlie Crist to run for the Senate in 2010."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is not ruling out a run for the Senate in 2010, but for now is focusing all of his attention on the legislative session, a top ally tells CNN.

“The governor is not closing the door, but he is not necessarily opening it,” Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer said in an interview this afternoon. “He is focused on being governor and focused on solving the challenges that Floridians are facing right now.”

Greer said that Crist “enjoys being the governor,” and “at times he is a little frustrated with D.C., like all Americans.”

Still, the lure of Washington might be enough to convince Crist to run for the Senate in 2010. His entry into the race would be embraced by Senate Republicans, who are concerned that they could lose the seat that is now held by retiring GOP Sen. Mel Martinez.

Crist had a 65 percent approval rating in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, released last month.

A Washington-based Republican strategist tells CNN that the governor has had some conversations with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn about his own entry into the race. But the strategist emphasized that there is an expectation Crist will take a pass on a Senate run.

“If he runs, he wins,” said the strategist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “But the conventional thinking continues to be that he is running for re-election as governor.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush decided last month against running for the seat.

A story posted on the Web site of the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call Monday suggested that Martinez is considering resigning early from his seat and that Crist is looking at a run. A Martinez spokesman told CNN Monday that “nothing’s changed” and an early exit is “not on the table.”

Greer dismissed any speculation that Crist would consider appointing himself to the seat if Martinez left the Senate before his term expired.

“He has too much respect for the electorate and the appointment process and would not consider appointing himself to a Senate vacancy,” Greer said.

So far, several state lawmakers and congressmen from both parties are considering or have already announced runs for the Senate seat.

Filed under: Charlie Crist • Florida • Mel Martinez
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Peter

    Enough already, time to govern and focus!!

    February 2, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Barack wins and America collectively loses.

    Nobody, and I mean nobody will be able to beat this guy. He is an excellent candidate. He will be great for the US Senate. Looking forward to seeing him there.

    February 2, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Mercedes

    NO WAY!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Albo58

    After his pay-out of $millions of Florida state funds to those "fine" parents of Martin Lee Anderson even before there was trial to determine culpability of the juevinile boot camp personnel, Charlie better campaign hard east of NW Florida! Especially considering that ALL the personnel involved were found NOT guilty! Sure, it was a terrible tragedy, but Florida taxpayers shouldn't have been billed for it!

    February 2, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. Stu-Florida

    Charlie Crist is about as usless as ... well you know.
    He has done NOTHING in the State of Florida to change any of the insurance rates. Quite the contrary they have risen, significantly. The property taxes have also not changed. While they went up rapidly as housing values did, they haven't dropped anywhere near the amount of speed they went up. His "policies" are what's driving people out. He hasn't a clue about the needs of the people of Florida.
    Bottom line... he hasn't made good on any of his Governor campaign "promises"!
    Also... is there a way to stop his eyebrows from going up and down while he's speaking. It distracts me from hearing his lies!

    February 2, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. I Support Our President

    Who cares about a loser rushpublican.

    February 2, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. Ray Fisher

    This simply shows that politicians aren't the brightest bulbs in the pantry. To leave a beautiful state like Florida for Washington in the name of politics isn't normal, rational behavior.

    February 2, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. Central Floridian

    What? So Crist can waste $430K of federal tax dollars on his next European vacation or gerrymander another election process in an attempt to favor his Republican Party? Thanks, but no thanks.

    February 2, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Maggie SC

    By all means Gov. Crist, hold your ground and help the Republican party rise again and do away with all that negative publicity CNN loves to toss our way.

    February 2, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Some of these States are in trouble because their Governors are so busy acquiring personal gains and not doing their jobs as Governors. This guy is another Bush cronie who licked his boots every chance he got. Florida should speak loud and not send this man to the senate to do more of the same, nothing.

    February 2, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Some of these States are in trouble because their Governors are so busy acquiring personal gains and not doing their jobs as Governors. This guy is another Bush cronie who licked his boots every chance he got. Florida should speak loud and not send this man to the senate to do more of the same, nothing.

    February 2, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. Esther in Fl

    What's incredibly sad....Crist is focusing on a 2010 Senate run when he's done absolutely done nothing for the state of Florida! Unemployment is at 10% . UCF a public university has raised their tuition. And about insurance rates...McCain pushed that one through

    February 2, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Mike Dallas

    zzzzzzzzzzzzz, huh, say what?

    February 2, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Franky

    Florida is s dump. You got more foreclosures there than couples have with their marriage...

    February 2, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. John

    Best of luck Mr. Crist. Best of luck.

    February 2, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. Amber

    That's cool.... the Senate could use another Log Cabin Republican....

    February 2, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Sorry Charlie.......you tried to give us McCain.......can't forgive you for that.

    February 2, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. ken

    He's a popular Governor and would make a good Senator.

    February 2, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    Yes!!! Go for it!! You are a moderate and we need more people like you that use COMMON SENSE over serving a party.

    February 2, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. FreeNLovIt

    Go for it!!

    February 2, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  21. ED FL

    Keep your eyes open for a swap Crist wants the senate job and Martinez would love the Florida Governors position. [sic] Public rumors that Martinez MIGHT leave before his term ends.Crist can appoint himself and Martinez could run for the open Governors seat. What ever happened to honesty and integrity[Always controversial in politics]. Stay tuned!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. Southern Gentleman

    Comments on the Repub proposal closed prior to making my argument. Tax cuts for the rich, Mitch told Obama that he needs to give tax cuts less to the poor and more to the rich and businesses.

    I am against this because the companies will give more dividends or distributions (if it is an S-Corporation) to their shareholders and hire noone. By the way, there are more poor people than rich, therefore economies of scale rule.

    February 2, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. Sye the Pychic

    He cant even pronounce his last name right.Maybe hes on AIGs bank roll and has millions in offshore accts.like many other rich politicians.

    February 2, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. ROB

    It's funny that STU-FLORIDA said Charlie Crist has done nothing in Florida.....Let me ask, what has Obama done in Chicago?? Last time I checked, the crime rate was worse than ever and things are bad in Chicago.......

    Dumb Democrat...

    February 2, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  25. Julie


    February 2, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
1 2