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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist to announce Tuesday, likely to run for U.S. Senate in 2010 and face Rubio

Crist-charlie Gov. Charlie Crist will announce his political plans on Tuesday and it very likely means he's running for U.S. Senate, Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer said tonight.

"Charlie Crist is going to be the next U.S. senator from Florida," Greer told the Buzz a few minutes ago. Crist has said he would make a decision after the legislative session but the precise day was first reported this evening by The Associated Press.

"It's probably going to be low-key," Greer told the Buzz. "It's his intention not to do anything that would take away from what he's got to be focused on in the coming weeks. There's a lot to do with being governor."

Greer strongly indicated Crist will run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez. "It's my opinion he has come to the conclusion that he needs to fight for Floridians on the issues coming out of Washington, D.C., and he needs to be there first-hand," Greer said.

25404646Crist would face fellow Republican Marco Rubio, who has been generating buzz ever since formally announcing his candidacy last week. 

Greer is not an objective voice, for sure, having come into prominence with Crist. But he boasted that Crist would have widespread support even as he said he would not dissuade other candidates.

"In a competition, whether it's playing baseball or a political race, you want to make sure when you go on the field you have a good chance of winning. Charlie Crist is going to be the next U.S. senator from Florida."

Two Democrats are vying for the seat as well: U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami and state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 5:59pm]


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