TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is contemplating a U.S. Senate run, sources tell The Washington Post.
Crist, who is in his first term as governor, is still a long shot to run in 2010 for the seat being vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., the sources told the newspaper. Should the popular governor enter the fray -- a possibility first reported by Roll Call -- he would be a formidable foe, political observers agree.
Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer, who is closely aligned with Crist, said whether the governor will throw his hat in the ring "is a decision that will be made down the road because he doesn't want to take his eye off the ball, which is serving the people of Florida as governor."
Crist is expected to hold off on a final decision until after the legislative session wraps up in May.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican, and state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, a Democrat, have decided not to run.
Two Democrats, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and state Sen. Dan Gelber, have announced their candidacies. U.S. Reps. Allen Boyd and Ron Klein are said to be weighing their chances.
Among U.S. Republicans, Reps. Vern Buchanan and Connie Mack IV and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio are among the top candidates.