In another twist in the unpredictable saga that is the Florida Senate race, billionaire Jeff Greene announced Friday that he will make a run for the seat as a Democrat.
The Daily Caller reported earlier this week that Greene, whose colorful past includes friendships with Mike Tyson and Heidi Fleiss, planned to jump in the race if Gov. Charlie Crist left the Republican Party to run for the seat as an independent. Crist announced his party switch Thursday afternoon.
Money will not be an issue for Greene, listed in Forbes magazine as one of the 400 richest people in the world. He says he will refuse campaign contributions from special interests and limit individual donations to his campaign to $100.
Greene will challenge once long-shot Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek for the nomination. Now that Crist and Republican Marco Rubio will split votes, the Democrats naturally have a better shot of winning the seat. Meek is generally seen as a weak candidate, and Greene’s thinking appears to be that he can mount a well-funded campaign against Crist and Rubio.
“I’m an outsider, the only candidate who isn’t a career politician,” Greene said in a statement. “I’ve succeeded in the real world of hard work – the others have only succeeded at running for office after office. And I am the only candidate in this race who owes nothing to special interests.”
Greene, 55, lives in Palm Beach with his wife, Mei Sze, and their son Malcolm. He founded Florida Sunshine Realty & Investment, heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was the best man in his wedding and former madam Heidi Fleiss once lived in his house.
“Today I start the campaign to take on the ‘more of the same’ politicians who are running – all of them having the nerve to say they will change things, when they, who have held office year after year, are exactly what we need to change.”
Here’s Greene’s campaign announcement: