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« Mideast Leaders To The White House | Blog Home Page | DGA Jumps On Crist Senate Announcement »

Crist Announces Senate Bid, Promising To "Put People First"

The Florida Republican Party released a statement on behalf of Gov. Charlie Crist (R) making his decision to run for the U.S. Senate official.

"Here in Florida, we've shown that when we put people first and work together much can be accomplished, and I intend to bring that same approach to Washington," Crist says.

The NRSC quickly endorsed Crist, even as he faces a primary challenge from former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio.

"While I believe Marco Rubio has a very bright future within the Republican Party, Charlie Crist is the best candidate in 2010 to ensure that we maintain the checks and balances that Floridians deserve in the United States Senate," Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said in a statement. "Governor Crist is a dedicated public servant and a dynamic leader, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee will provide our full support to ensure that he is elected the next United States Senator from Florida."

Rubio expressed disappointment at the NRSC's endorsement, saying on his Twitter feed: "Remember that reform must always come from the outside. Status quo won't change itself." He also posted this YouTube video, titled "Let the Debate Begin."

The state's primary is August 24, 2010. Crist's full statement is after the jump.

"Over the last several months I have spoken with many Floridians about the challenges that we face together and the issues affecting our daily lives. Our country is facing the most profound public policy questions in our lifetime -- questions relating to the economy, taxes, healthcare, the environment and national security. The answers to these questions will have a lasting impact on the country we love and the nation we will leave to our children and grandchildren.

"As I have previously said, my decision whether to seek the office of U.S. Senator or re-election as Governor would not be made until after the important work of the Legislature was completed at which time I could reflect on how to best serve the people of this great state. Here in Florida, we've shown that when we put people first and work together much can be accomplished, and I intend to bring that same approach to Washington.

"That is why, after thoughtful consideration with my wife Carole, I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate. As Governor, each day I will continue to focus on fighting for all Floridians. And if I am given the honor of serving as their Senator, I will take that fight for the people of this state I love so dearly to the halls of Congress. Thank you and God bless the great state of Florida and the United States of America."