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Republican Crist says he may run for Senate as independent

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, left, with staffers last week in Tallahassee, is considering an independent candidacy for Senate as polls show him trailing Marco Rubio heading into the Republican primary.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, left, with staffers last week in Tallahassee, is considering an independent candidacy for Senate as polls show him trailing Marco Rubio heading into the Republican primary. (Melina Mara/the Washington Post)
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

FLORIDA

Crist may leave GOP for his Senate run

Ignoring pressure from Washington, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) says he's considering running for the Senate as an independent.

Crist said he wants to be "very, very thoughtful and deliberate" about the decision, speaking in an interview on the same day that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney challenged him to either stay in the race as a Republican or step aside and support his opponent, Marco Rubio. Romney's comments came at a Tampa rally where he officially endorsed Rubio, a favorite of conservatives.

In Washington, Rob Jesmer of the National Republican Senatorial Committee wrote in an e-mail Monday that he believes there is "zero chance" Crist will run as a Republican. He says Crist should drop out of the race if he believes he can't win the primary.

Polls show Crist is well behind Rubio in the Aug. 24 primary but could win a three-way general election race with Rubio and the likely Democratic nominee, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.

-- Associated Press

Shuttle landing delayed: Rain and overcast skies prevented the space shuttle Discovery from returning to Earth on Monday, and mission control instructed the astronauts to spend a 15th day circling the world and awaiting better weather. Discovery and its seven astronauts can remain in orbit until Wednesday.

Guilty plea in student's death: The man accused of killing Eve Carson, the University of North Carolina student body president found shot to death in the middle of a street two years ago, pleaded guilty in Raleigh on Monday to federal crimes, avoiding the death penalty. Demario Atwater, 23, pleaded guilty to several charges, including carjacking resulting in death and kidnapping. He agreed to a life sentence. He still faces a murder charge in state court.

USS Cole relatives file another suit: Relatives of the 17 sailors killed in the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 are suing Sudan for emotional damages they were denied in a previous lawsuit. Sixty-one family members filed the new lawsuit late last week in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, the Cole's home port and home of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. They are seeking $282.5 million in damages for pain and suffering. Three years ago, 33 family members were awarded $8 million in compensatory damages.

-- From news services


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