[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/12/art.cristpt0512.gi.jpg caption=" The Crist Senate campaign will not return donations made before he decided to run as an independent, a campaign adviser told CNN Wednesday."]
(CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will not refund Senate campaign contributions made before he decided to forego the Republican primary and, instead, mount an independent bid, according to a Crist campaign adviser.
"The governor's position is people donated to a good cause and we intend to spend their money on a good cause," Michelle Todd, an adviser to the Crist campaign, told CNN Wednesday.
The Florida governor decided late last month to skip a Republican primary face-off against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio who had a more than 20-percentage-point lead over Crist in GOP primary polling. Crist is continuing his Senate run as a non-party-affiliated candidate.
A poll released last week showed Crist leading Rubio in a hypothetical three-way general election race between the two men and Rep. Kendrick Meek, the likely Democratic nominee.
Crist's decision not to issue refunds comes in the wake of several high-profile requests from members of the Republican establishment to return money given to Crist's campaign prior to his decision to bolt from the GOP primary.
Last week, a group of prominent Florida Republicans penned a letter to Crist seeking refunds of their personal donations and encouraging the governor to refund the donations of every GOP contributor who wants their money back. Anticipating Crist's announcement of his independent bid, the National Republican Senatorial Committee said it would seek a refund of its $10,000 donation to Crist's campaign and the Club for Growth, a conservative advocacy group, has also said it would lead an effort to help Crist donors seek refunds.