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

Crist to run for Senate as independent candidate


 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. Obama the liar

    is he Arlens Specter's cousin? sort of looks and acts like him

    April 28, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Just what I wanted to see. Right wing republicans pushing moderates out of the party. Keep it up. Majority of Americans rebuke far right wing candidates. Here's an idea though. How about all the moderate republicans and Blue Dog democrats start their own party.

    April 28, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. Charlie in Maine

    for it the last thing the counrty needs is another Republican Governor especially someone like Rubio. If Christ wins, great no Rubio. If he splits the GOP vote even better a Democratic Gov. Go Charlie go.

    April 28, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Publius13

    Run Charlie, run.

    April 28, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. cbc

    Go Charlie! It's time someone showed those right wing Tea Leaf idiots and talk show clowns that normal Americans in the GOP want nothing to do with them!!!

    April 28, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Peter

    Good for you Crist!!! you will win as an Independent! America needs more of you!

    April 28, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. dave

    Great news! A moderate voice-not a right wing nut Neanderthal.

    April 28, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Changing post dose not make him a better man .

    April 28, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Jayden,FL

    Good.... now i'll vote for you.. I'm a Democrat.. and I don't like Kendrick Meek..

    April 28, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. john316

    Good for Crhist .....I'm a democrat...but respect him for standing up to the GOP who seem to be driving a big "Tea Pot" to nowhere....Being an independent might actually work very well in his favor....

    April 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Great news, Crist is his own man. Rubio is in trouble now. LOL

    April 28, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. thomas

    If my home was in FLA , I would vote for Crist .
    Rubio would start third war with Cuba.

    April 28, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. SocialismBad

    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....

    April 28, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Gregg

    Only independents should be allowed to serve in office. Republicans and Democrats cause more problems than they solve.

    April 28, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. kleeks

    was that the best photo on file that you have of the Gov of Florida? Looks like he is sticking out his tongue. Always thought he was an interesting looking person

    April 28, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. JMikey54

    Good for Crist! It is obvious he would be the best nomination for the Republican party to win, But the tea party movement and the swing by a lot of the far right wing conservatives are really just cutting their own noses to spite to their face in their efftors to push the republican party further and further to the right. Good decision Crist!

    April 28, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Myron

    Mark my words, this could be the first nail in the coffin of the Tea Party. If he wins, he sets the blueprint showing the Tea Party is not unstoppable or he splits the vote.

    April 28, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Hey GOPers/Teatards, how's that extremey, fringey thing workin' out for ya?

    April 28, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Mary Kay Claus

    I'm a lifelong dem and I'm thinking about sending him campaign money. Glad to see he is standing strong as a moderate. Good luck, Charlie.

    April 28, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. El Sith

    Crist is solid.

    April 28, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Joseph

    Now that he is running against them, will the Republicans bring out their usual smear campaigne and bring out all the stories that Crist is really gay?

    April 28, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Rush

    The last thing the GOP needs or wants right now is moderation.

    April 28, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. bravado in boston



    April 28, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Brian

    I will send him a check. And I do not live in Florida. This is rich. The tag bag wonder child Rubio will lose.

    April 28, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Ana

    Go Charlie, yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so glad that he decided to run as independent and broke away from Republicans. It means that he chose the interest of the people over the Republican party interest! I am glad that he is not following this far (too far) right-wing ideology that will never win among young, educated people!

    April 28, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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