MAVERICK

Crist Announces Independent Run

Florida Governor Charlie Crist has announced he will be entering the Senate race to join Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio and Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek in a runoff for the seat. The former Republican's move may irreparably damage his political career, and a Republican official has already stated the GOP plans on backing Crist's Republican opponent. John Cornyn, Republican senator from Texas, said he would prefer Crist to forgo his Senate campaign until 2012 and called the governor's decision a mistake. Crist’s popularity has been steadily dropping with his support for President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package, meaning running as an independent may be his best strategy. However, this also means he will lose his core group of fundraisers and possibly most of his staff, who don’t want to risk their own careers by losing the Republican tag. Despite potential future troubles for Crist, a three-way race could be good news for Meek, who may benefit from a split decision over the two Republicans.