WEST MIAMI, Fla. — First, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was supposed to be the Republican nominee for Senate. Then he seemed on track to be the de facto Democratic candidate. Now, following Rep. Kendrick Meek’s victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, the Republican-turned-independent governor is finally and unmistakably a man without a party.
With billionaire Jeff Greene’s quixotic Senate campaign officially dead and buried, most of the Democratic donors, officials and activists who would have bolted the flawed real estate mogul for Crist will be forced to stay with Meek. The state GOP establishment already has disowned Crist. And because he’s standing in between Meek and Republican nominee Marco Rubio, Crist is taking fire from the two sides he’s attempting to bridge.
Rubio is coming after him from the right in an attempt to effectively create a second Democratic primary that will leave the party split.
“I have two supporters of the Obama agenda,” the former speaker of the state House said of his rivals before voting at his precinct here Tuesday.
And Meek, hoping to persuade Democratic voters to remain loyal to their nominee, is reminding his own party base of the conservative positions Crist took in the not-so-distant past.
“Gov. Crist is not a Democrat,” Meek said in an interview over the weekend.