As expected, Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced today that he was running for the Senate as an Independent:
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Former GOP darling Gov. Charlie Crist defected from the Republican Party on Thursday to run as an independent for U.S. Senate after months of being ripped by conservatives as too supportive of President Barack Obama.
“I don’t have either party helping me. But I need you. I need you more than ever,” the governor said, surrounded by cheering supporters carrying signs that included “Democrats for Crist.”
Crist was the heavy favorite last year, and was even among the Republican names bandied about in the 2012 presidential race. But the primary campaign quickly became a lost cause as the tea party movement embraced another candidate, Marco Rubio, and held up the governor’s literal embrace of Obama last year as evidence that Crist was too liberal.
Crist said the election is “not one club’s decision or another club’s decision, or one club within that club. … We give you the chance to make that decision.”
His chances of winning as an independent appear slim. He’s burned bridges with Republicans, and Democrats see his announcement as an opportunity for their own likely nominee, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.
Meek said after Crist’s announcement that he is now in a “commanding position” to win the seat.
Let the games begin.