GOP officials are urging Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to run for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Republican Mel Martinez after 2010.
“We’re going to continue to visit [Crist],” National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn told The Hill newspaper.
“It’s very early in the game, but recruitment is important and the ability to be competitive on the financial front is very important too. We’re working on both of those fronts.”
Crist, who would be up for re-election in 2010, has denied that he is interested in running for the Senate seat, but Cornyn believes he could be open to persuasion.
Cornyn said he has also talked to Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio about a Senate run.
Crist’s predecessor as Florida governor, Jeb Bush, was considered a strong candidate for the Senate until he announced last week that he would not run.
Crist, who previously served as attorney general and state Senator, unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Democrat Bob Graham for his U.S. Senate seat in 1998.
He has been mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2012.
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