Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday he wants to make a decision on the U.S. Senate race a day ahead of the scheduled end of the annual state legislative session on Friday.
The governor’s options include remaining in the Republican primary, where he is lagging behind former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, or remain a Republican but run as a non-affiliated candidate, putting himself on the general election ballot.
Rubio, a favorite among conservatives who tend to turn out in strength for GOP primaries, has garnered the endorsements of leading Republican figures ranging from former Vice President Dick Cheney to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
While Crist remains popular among independents and conservative Democrats, running as an independent outside the primary would likely cost him Republican support of virtually any kind.
Or he could not run at all. He could also run for re-election as governor -- although few give that option much plausibility, The Wall Street Journal and other media reported Tuesday.
“I’d like to wrap it up,” Crist said about his decision.
Crist dropped a few more signals that he is likely to take an independent turn. He said an oil spill off of Louisiana, which has the potential to reach Florida’s shores, could cause him to rethink his position on favoring off-shore drilling. “It’s not a great situation,” Crist said.
Crist also said he had reservations about an effort by Republican legislative leaders to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would counter a redistricting amendment favored by Democrats, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.
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