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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Leonhardt, Roberts Join Crist Campaign



With 17 days left, Republicans afraid of being caught on the losing side are leaving Tom Gallagher's campaign, though Buzz should note for the record that they say it's because of Gallagher's new aggressive campaign strategy.

Fred Leonhardt, recent past president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce who was a key part of Gallagher's Central Florida team, has left the campaign and announced support for Charlie Crist, the Crist campaign announced Friday morning. The release quotes Leonhardt as saying Gallagher "strayed from the positive campaign he promised me and other Republicans he would run."

Pat Roberts of the Florida Broadcasters Association also confirmed Thursday that he had similarly signed on with Crist despite being a longtime friend of Gallaghers. He said he'd alway sbeen torn because his wife grew up with Crist, but that this week's new Gallagher ad crossed a line.

The Gallagher campaign's response from Alberto Martinez: "It's been almost 72 hours since the first ad aired and Charlie Crist has yet to produce one shred of evidence that he is not pro-choice, pro-gay civil unions, pro-liberal spending plan and pro-amnesty. Gov. Bush considerd the ad appropriate...A lobbyist switching sides won't deter us from running our issue-oriented campaign."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:13pm]


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