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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Meek mixes Gator football and politics



Who says college football isn't political? Congressman Kendrick Meek, the Democrat vying for a U.S. Senate against Republican candidates Gov. Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio, will be in Gainesville on Saturday seeking petitions toward his candidacy from the hoard of victory-hungry football fans.

The No. 1 ranked Gators face off against the Tennessee Volunteers at 3:30 p.m. in the Swamp, in a game that's generating some extra hype and excitement thanks to Tennesee coach Kiffin's trash talk against Gators coach Urban Meyer. Meek will be there at 1, location TBD.

Meek is a FAMU graduate, but apparently political aspirations send some of those college allegiances to the back burner. He is collecting petitions for his statewide effort to qualify for the ballot. If he gets the 112,476 petitions from registered Florida voters by March of 2010 that he needs, it will be the first time in Florida history that a statewide candidate successfully qualifies for the ballot that way.

UF President Bernie Machen, it's worth noting, publicly endorsed McCain for president last year. And in an odd move, he released a statement recently praising Crist's selection of former chief of staff George LeMieux to serve the rest of Mel Martinez's U.S. Senate term.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:18pm]


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