Attorney General Charlie Crist is shaping a formal, in-depth system to consider and screen applicants to be his lieutenant governor. The candidate and his aides won't talk much about it, however.
It's expected that all four middle-aged white men running for governor will search far and wide for women, African-Americans or Hispanics who can provide diversity to one of the nation's most diverse states. As the only candidate who's not married, Crist may feel an extra measure of pressure to pick a woman.
"It's not lost on me, the significance of that," Crist said in an interview aboard his campaign bus Friday.
Among the names Crist is rumored to be considering is Virginia Wetherell, a former Republican House member from Pensacola who ran the Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Lawton Chiles. Wetherell is a supporter of Crist and her husband, T.K. Wetherell, is president of Florida State, Crist's alma mater.
"I haven't really approached anybody, directly," Crist said. Asked specifically about Wetherell, Crist campaign manager George LeMieux interrupted and said the campaign is not ready to drop names or discuss running-mate vetting procedures.
Wetherell, reached Friday, said no one from the campaign has approached her and that she would be surprised if she were considered. She said Crist would be wise to look for a running mate in the more populous counties of Miami-Dade and Broward.
Here's another intruguing possibility: Republican Rep. Jennifer Carroll of Green Cove Springs, who is an African-American and a retired lieutenant commander in the Navy. She said recently no campaign had contacted her about the job.