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« Previewing Obama's Health Care Message | Blog Home Page | Before Friendly Crowd, Obama Urges Civility »

FL SEN: Jeb Out, Crist Promises Transparent Process

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has a few weeks to make a decision on who should replace Sen. Mel Martinez (R) in the U.S. Senate. There's a long list of potential choices, but as of today it does not include former Gov. Jeb Bush. From a statement today to the Miami Herald:

"As Governor Bush indicated earlier this year when he decided against a run for the U.S. Senate, now is not the right time for him to return to public office. In response to your question, Governor Bush is not interested in serving out the remainder of Senator Martinez's term," says spokeswoman Kristy Campbell.

Crist spoke to reporters this morning about his decision-making process. Here's the St. Pete Times' writeup:

Crist said he has not decided on an appointment. But he vowed to take great care and deliberation. Names are already emerging, with the consensus being he'll appoint a known, trusted person who has no desire to hold the seat for more than the duration of Martinez's final term.

"It's an important decision, and I want to make sure it's transparent," said Crist, who faces former House Speaker Marco Rubio in the Republican primary for the seat and is expected to face off against Democrat Kendrick Meek in the 2010 general election.

"I want to make sure the people interviewed are people of integrity and character," Crist said, adding that he is "not sure" if he will do all the interviews himself.