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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida Republicans try to unify amid Sansom spending scandal, U.S. Senate appointment



ORLANDO – Florida Republicans sought to present a unified front Saturday in hopes of quelling discontent with Gov. Charlie Crist, potential backlash over his U.S. Senate appointment and a party spending scandal.

"We have woken up, and we are ready to win, and we have one team with one fight,'' Crist told hundreds of party activists at the Gaylord Palms Hotel & Convention Center. "The fight is not among us. The fight is with the Democrats.''


With a growing number of local Republican parties taking informal votes overwhelmingly favoring conservative Marco Rubio over Crist for U.S. Senate, the governor has been aggressively reaching out to the party's activist base. In recent days, has called hundreds of local Republican party officials to get their feedback on replacing retiring U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez.

"All of a sudden he's found that the party is important,'' said Broward state Committeeman Ed Kennedy, who said Rubio can't be counted out in the senate primary. "You can't forget your conservative base.'' (rest of Adam Smith's report here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:58pm]


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