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The moderate Florida governor could switch to Independent to fight Rubio in November.


Crist Close to Switching Independent

The moderate Florida governor could switch to Independent to fight Rubio in November.

As big-name Republicans ranging from former Vice President Dick Cheney to past presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani all weighed in last week for conservative GOP Senate hopeful Marco Rubio, moderate Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appeared to be leaning to “switching and fighting.”

As of Thursday, signs were strong that Crist would abandon his bid in the August GOP Senate primary and instead run for the Senate in the general election this fall as an independent against Rubio and the likely Democratic nominee, Rep. Kendrick Meek. With polls showing Crist trailing Rubio among Republican voters, the governor apparently has never recovered within his party from his public embrace of Barack Obama and endorsement of the stimulus package last year. After weeks of insisting that “I am running as a Republican,” Crist told reporters last week “Things change.” Under state law, Crist as until April 30 to pay the $6,960 (4% of his annual salary as of July 1, 2009) that state law requires of him to run as an independent this fall. As of December, Crist had $9 million in the bank, although it is questionable how much he could raise as an independent and a lame-duck governor.

The latest Rasmussen Poll shows that among likely voters statewide Rubio has 37%, Crist 30%, and Meek 22%.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ?ť and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ?ť and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â?ť video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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