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. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Charlie Crist is a little bit scary if you read up on things he supports...

    February 2, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |

    You have got to be kidding. Someone please call me and let me tell just how much he finished screwing our state like Jibberish Jeb

    February 2, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. Barbara Campbell

    His political ambitions were the reason for his marriage, so I suspect he'll run.

    February 2, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  4. Jim

    Stu: Don't listen to him. I am not sure about his capabilities as a governor since I do not live in Fla, but all I hear about him is good.

    February 2, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. jen

    GO, CHRIST !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. jen

    Maggie SC February 2nd, 2009 6:24 pm ET
    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.
    YES - Maggie - and GO, CHRIST!

    February 2, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  7. Texas Teacher

    Oh, come now.... a Florida Republican? Well, I would say he has a pretty good chance.... these Floridian Republicans sure know how the guarrantee an election.... 🙂 In fact, they are rather adept at it.... *snicker and sputter*

    February 2, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  8. Bob


    February 2, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. Sorry Charlie

    What have done for us .......absolutely Nothing !!!

    February 2, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  10. Larry Houston TX

    I hope he does not get elected again, for ANYTHING !!

    Republicans have CUT taxes on the Businesses…..They CUT Taxes on the Huge Corporations, They CUT Taxes on everyone that was IN Business !! Not the average workers ! (That's why it didn't work, and never will work ! ) They need to CUT Taxes on the regular / average people that is drawing a PAYCHECK, for a change…..Do people think they CUT Taxes on the people that go to a Fast Food Place for their Lunch Hour ? Do people think the Republicans CUTS Taxes for the people that take a Luch Bucket or a Lunch Bag to WORK ???
    They have been CUTTING TAXES for the LAST 8 YEARS !!!!

    ( I think it's time to "Quit" "cutting Taxes" for the most Wealthy !!!

    February 2, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. jumbo

    true leader and winner

    February 2, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  12. Sye the Pychic

    AH,another finger pointer,look,Its a bird,its a plane,its another lamebrain that backed McCain.

    February 2, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
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