Crist to Kick Off Senate Run

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2009 7:01 AM CDT
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros spring training baseball game Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009 in Kissimmee, Fla.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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(Newser) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is, indeed, planning to run for the Senate in 2010, the Miami Herald reports, and will announce his candidacy at a “low key” event tomorrow in Tallahassee. “He loves being governor,” says his former chief-of-staff, “but he also realizes that Florida’s problems have become national problems.”

Crist immediately becomes the biggest figure in the race. He seems poised to cruise past prospective primary opponent Marco Rubio, who is positioned as the more conservative choice. Democratic candidates include Rep. Kendrick Meek, state Sen. Dan Gelber and North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns. Crist’s departure will also set off a heated gubernatorial battle, with CFO Alex Sink running for the Democrats, and AG Bill McCollum for the Republicans.